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In connection with the death of Sister Varvara Trofimova, abbess of the Pyukhtitsy Stauropegial Convent of the Dormition in Pyukhtitsy, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, has expressed condolences to the acting abbess Sister Philareta (Kalacheva) and to the clergy and sisters of the convent. Below is the text of his letter of condolences:

Dear Sister Philareta,

Reverend Fathers and Beloved Sisters in Christ:

From my heart I extend to you profound condolences over the death of the long-standing mother superior of the Pyukhtitsy Convent, Sister Varvara (Trofimova).

For over forty years she has carried on her shoulders the heavy cross of governing the convent, setting a living example of the fulfilment of the apostolic commandment: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). Through her prayers, patience, wisdom and selfless work the Pyukhtitsy Convent has become what it is today – a gem of the Orthodox Estonia which attracts multitudes of pilgrims. But the most important thing is that Sister Varvara, passing away to the Lord, has left to us scores of people seeking salvation to who she has pointed the way to the Heavenly Kingdom by conveying to them her truly precious experience of a life in Christ.

The Lord has called the tireless worker to His eternal dwellings. Her memory will live both in the holy Convent of Pyukhtitsy and in the whole land of Estonia. Sorrowful, you are parting with your dear mother and instructor but may your sorrow be enlightened with a good hope that now she will stand before the Throne of God in tireless intercession for her beloved children in Christ and for the destiny of holy Orthodoxy in Estonia.

Eternal memory be to her! I invoke God’s blessing upon you.

+ Hilarion

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk


Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate