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The Power & Operation of the Holy Spirit

By the descent of the Holy Spirit, we are made children on the Most High and are brought under his love and guidance. As a result, we are no longer orphans.

St. Xenia of Petersburg
St. Xenia of Petersburg
St. Xenia of Petersburg
Over the past year at Holy Trinity, several lay leaders have made presentations on various saints as part of our church's Adult Education Series. One such saint presented earlier this year was St Xenia of Petersburg. She belongs to a category of saints referred to as 'Fools for Christ." Her husband, a military colonel, died at a drinking party. For 45 years Xenia walked the streets of Petersburg in Russia, wearing her husband's uniform which obviously had been patched many times.
Some of these other 'fools' defining moments included throwing nuts at people during Divine Liturgy, tripping others in the street, speaking in riddles, and feigning seizures, so as to be appear mentally ill. They pretended, and were quite convincing, of being mad.
They category of saints are, in short, paradoxical. Their lives remain one big question mark.
A look at their bizarre behavior and one might not consider any aspect of their life of  being desireable. This would be a mistake.
Although Fools for Christ would certainly be described as being the lost ones of this world; wanderers who move about in exile, there are still apsects of their life we would do well to take a second look at, and dare we even say, embrace?
These Fools for Christ cannot be exploited, as they possess no personal agenda. They cannot be bought in a certain respect. They have no family, friends, or possessions - as they have renounced the world, and in turn, the world has renounced them. These fools are not the product of intellectual achievement, but instead they are a creation of the heart.
Their entire purpose in mocking the world was to be associated with Christ, who has been referred to as the Divine Fool. Since they possess nothing, they have nothing to lose; they are free in Christ, so that every movement is offered back to Christ in a spirit of thanksgiving and great joy. They engaged in these bizarre acts in order to preserve their humility, so that in presenting themselves as amongst the lowest forms of human creation, God might actually elevate them.
Fools for Christ? Sort of, but not entirely.
- Fr Marc Vranes
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