St. Pelagia in her youth led a sinful life. One day she heard a sermon of an elder and repented in her behavior and was filled with the desire to be baptized. Upon baptism, the newly enlightened handmaiden of the Lord distributed all her property to the poor and withdrew to Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, where she led a spiritual life in seclusion under the male name Pelagius until her death in 457.

As to tradition, October 8/21, on the day of the commemoration of St. Pelagia, after the Divine Liturgy, the sisters of the Mount of Olive’s convent of the Ascension of the Lord along with the sisters of the monastery of St. Mary Magdalene, came to the cave of St. Pelagia, which is located near the place of the Ascension of the Lord. The head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), served a moleben at the tomb of the ascetic, after which the sisters venerated the tomb and were anointed with oil from the lamp.

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