On Saturday, July 24/August 6, 2022, at 5 am, at the age of 68, nun Isidora (Popova) reposed in the Lord at the Russian Holy Ascension Convent. In May of this year, nun Isidora was diagnosed with acute cancer. There was very little hope for recovery. And after a few days in the hospital, she made a difficult decision and flew to Romania for an operation. Unfortunately, her condition did not improve after the procedure, and she returned to Eleon to live out her remaining days in peace and prayer in her native monastery.

M. Isidora. July 2020.

M. Isidora is from Romania. She entered the Romanian convent Rymets when she was 21 years old. She had a large family: 6 brothers and 6 sisters. She was the youngest of the sisters and her pious parents wanted at least one of their daughters to become a nun and pray for the family. M. Isidora listened to her parents, but she herself had an inner desire for prayer. Archimandrite Joachim, confessor of that monastery, was also her brother. In the Rymets Monastery, Mother Isidora was the chief needlewoman in the manufacture of woolen carpets.

On Easter 1990, nun Isidora and nun Petronia visited Jerusalem. Their hearts cleaved to the Holy Land and they asked to come to live on the Mount of Olives. Both nuns entered the Russian Holy Ascension Convent, where Mother Isidora spent 32 years of her earthly life. In addition to the usual monastic obediences, M. Isidora also carried her obedience in the gold-embroidery, was a sacristan and an altar server. Both in Rymets and on the Mount of Olives, nun Isidora was noted for her diligence, patience, silence, obedience, and merciful kind heart.

Before her death, Mother Isidora took communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ daily. On the evening before his death, the Chief of the Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), read the “Service of the Departing of the Soul”. All the sisters of the monastery had a chance to say goodbye to Mother Isidora, who was fully conscious until her death.

According to custom in the east, the burial took place on the very day of death. The funeral service was led by Archimandrite Roman with the clergy of the Mission: Archimandrite Innokenty (Sereda), Abbot Iona (Galishnikov), Hieromonk Feodor (Kirike), Protodeacon Vyacheslav Batalsky, and Hierodeacons Gerasim (Kotovsky) and Amphilochius (Mazur). The abbess of the monastery, Mother Barbara (Novikova) and her sisters said goodbye to their loving elder sister. The abbess of the monastery of St. Mary Magdalene – Mother Elisabeth (Smelic) also prayed with many sisters of the Gethsemane monastery who arrived for the funeral. As the coffin was being taken out of the church, pilgrims from Germany and England, led by Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Bishop Irenaeus of London, approached. M. Isidora was honored with a bishop’s blessing before burial. Mother Isidora was laid to rest in the sister’s cemetery.

In the evening, a bishop of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Archbishop Theodosius (Attala-Hanna) of Sebaste, arrived and served a funeral litia on the fresh grave of Mother Isidora.

Eternal memory to her and eternal rest!

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