The Ascension Monastery in Tambov

The monastery was founded in 1690 by the bishop of that time, St. Pitirim of Tambov. It is considered one of the most beautiful mansions in the diocese of Tambov. The Monastery is located on the northern outskirts of the city, at the mouth of the Alexander Hawrushka Studentsov River, and its first abbess was Catherine, the sister of Bishop Pitirim.

The monastery had a bad fate, as it burst into flames, and had to be rebuilt. Some of that disaster still remains within its walls. The monastery was closed for a long period, during the Soviet power, and reopened its doors in the 20th century. With time everything started peacefully and, as in many other poor Russian monasteries, the Ascension Monastery was gradually enlarged and rebuilt over several centuries.
Initially, 18 cells for the nuns had been built on its territory, with a simple wooden hut, where there was not even a church and a clergy.

Upon the reform of Catherine II in 1764, the monastery received full time status.

The first stone church was built a hundred years later and in 1816 the second church of the monastery was built. Glorious days for the monastery came in the first half of the 19th century, when the nun Miropiya (known as Adenkova in the world) settled down.

Nun Miropiya (Maria Ivanovna), a noblewoman from Moscow, was born in 1766 and was blessed with the generic icon of Kazan, Mother of God. Unfortunately, the life of Maria Ivanovna’s family was short, because her husband died soon after, and the rich widow decided to stay in the Moscow monastery, Zachateisk Alexeyev. So she lived there, without knowing or having any idea about the monastery in Tambov, until the Second World War in 1812, because of Napoleon’s arrival, as all the sisters left the monastery and joined Adenkova on the road. Taking the longest road in the treasured icon of Kazan, Mother of God, she met a coachman and almost became his victim.

He was planning to rob a nun, but Adenkova suspected him, and from her heart she prayed to the Queen of Heaven, until she heard the voice that said, “Do not be afraid, I am your protector. At the same moment the coachman lost his sight, confessed in tears and asked Mary Ivanovna to pray for his healing. Of course, she felt sorry for the coachman, and after a short prayer before the icon of Our Lady, she turned her eyes to him and took him to the convent.

She took the veil under the name Miropiya, and for 14 years she lived as a nun in a simple wooden cell, which was in the front corner of the burning lamp, in front of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God. Before her death, she thought of transferring the icon of Our Lady to the monastery church, and was ordered to hand over the Shatskaia Vyshenskii icon, which was made by the sisters of the Ascension Monastery, as well as the Vyshenskii icon (from Kazan). The icon of Our Lady is there today, lighting the way for those who suffer, bringing relief and rest to all who come to pay homage to prayer of the heart.

The monastery at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century was characterized by its flourishing over time. In the monastery there were choirs and a shelter for orphan girls (Olginskaya school), as well as a building for baking holy bread, a garage and stables, a barn and many other outbuildings. The novices did not sit idly by, weaving cloth and canvas, black cloth for the costumes, and cassocks. There was also a production of Miter, embroidered in gold and silver.

After the revolution of December 1918, the monastery fell on hard times. It began to deteriorate and disintegrate, so it was shut down, even though the town hall was given “for use in cultural and educational purposes. In the 90s of the 20th century, the monastery was returned to the believers, and gradually rebuilt. Today, the Ascension Monastery is once again full of life, enjoying all the pilgrims with warmth and special love, where Miropiyu is always remembered in the daily prayers.