Mother Superior of the Monastery

The abbess of the Monastery is the schema-nun Pelagia, a person of special fate.

Having many serious afflictions, she bears the burdens of monasticism and of responsibility for the Monastery, but at the same time managed to preserve her inner prayerfulness, in other worlds joy, and the gift of love. Those who had a chance to speak with Mother Pelagia remember her with great warmth, gratitude, and respect. Many people received support and comfort during meetings with her.

Mother Pelagia was born in 1947 in the village of Pelekas, Corfu in a simple but large family. When the time came to baptize the girl, there was no godmother for her because of poverty. Parents brought the child to the church of Saint Spyridon and asked the nun who was there at that time to become their daughter’s godmother. The future Mother Superior was given the name Spiridula in honour of the patron saint of the island. The nun who became the godmother of the girl turned out to be the abbess of the Pantokrator-Kamarela Monastery, and their spiritual affinity determined the girl’s future. There were difficult post-war years, many inhabitants of Corfu lived on the verge of starvation. The parents of little Spiridula were often forced to come to the Monastery for help in order to get at least something for their children to eat. When Spiridula was three years old, her godmother, the Mother Superior, suggested that her parents leave the girl at the Monastery in order to free them from the difficulties of caring for her. From that day on, the girl constantly lived in the Monastery, was brought up here, went to primary school, and visited her relatives in the village. When Spiridula turned 17, the question arose about her future fate. She did not want to leave the Monastery and took monastic vows here, and later became the abbess of the Monastery. No wonder, when the sisters decided to rebuild the small house church to serve and pray in it when there are no parishioners in the monastery, it was consecrated in honour of the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos — in some ways this feast became deeply personal for the Mother Superior.

In modern society, the question that often sounds is: “Why do we still need monasticism?” One of the possible answers would be the idea that a real monastic calling is a rarity, and a unique gift in many ways, and few people who follow this path can give us an example of how one can live on Earth with an inner appeal to Heaven, maintain the aspiration of one’s soul to God and share this aspiration with others. Ideally, it should be as a kind of tuning fork — by which others can tune in their soul strings. It’s true that sometimes an off-pitch tuning fork gives a false note, but it is so joyful to know that real pure notes can still be heard in our world.

Lord, please prolong their sound and give us the ear to hear!