St Xenia as a Patron of Female Social Suffering: An Essay on Anthropological Hagiology
The chapter analyses veneration of St Xenia of St Petersburg who is very popular among different groups of contemporary believers in the Russian Orthodox Church. The authors aim to answer why this particular saint became so popular. To answer the question they analyze various types of texts which represent the saint to the believers, including her hagiography and hymnology, on the one hand, and popular literature about her, on the other. The data also includes the ethnographic research of the practices of veneration. The authors argue that popularity of the saint can be (partly) explained by the fact that she is represented by the church and perceived by the believers as a role model for the contemporary believers. She is a saint of irregular believers, and the dynamic channel for Church newcomers.