Mother Maria (Skobtsova) was a native of Latvia, born in 1891. As a teenager, she was drawn to the teachings of the Socialists. Eventually her concern for the poor led her back to her faith in Christ, and she returned to her native Russian Orthodox faith. After the Bolshevik Revolution, she fled to Paris and became a nun with a vocation of living in the world, joining prayer to social service. She opened her house to the poor, homeless and desperate, whom she clothed and fed for nearly a decade.
After the fall of Paris, she fed Jews who were being held in a stadium and smuggled children out in trash cans. She was arrested in 1943 and imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she continued to serve her fellow prisoners. Only a month before the camp was liberated, Saint Maria was executed on March 31, 1945. She is celebrated as a martyr for the Christian Faith.
Saint Maria's feast day is celebrated on July 20.
This icon is offered by Legacy Icons with the permission of the iconographer, Brian Matthew Whirledge.
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