Efimushkina Ekaterina

The community of sisters of mercy in Russia in the views of the milieu of grand duchess Elena Pavlovna

Efimushkina Ekaterina (2019) "The community of sisters of mercy in Russia in the views of the milieu of grand duchess Elena Pavlovna ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2019, vol. 86, pp. 97-109 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201986.97-109


This article deals with the development of views of the closest milieu of Great Duchess Elena Pavlovna on the establishment of Krestovozdvizhenskaya community of sisters of mercy, which was the fi rst in Russia. The community created by Elena Pavlovna from its fi rst days came to be in the focus of public attention and found its place in military actions of the hardest time of the Crimean War (1853‒1856). Originally, the community was conceived as a place of training of female medical staff for providing help during military campaigns, but its further fate was unclear. Elena Pavlovna was offered a number of projects of the subsequent arrangement of the community, the fi rst of which was the project by N. I. Pirogov. From Western Europe she received statutes of various female Catholic orders and Protestant communities of female deacons. She requested Revd. Ioann Yanyshev, E. M. Bakunin, N. L. Zaytsev and others to examine the West European tradition of women’s service. The long search for the ways of developing Krestovozdvizhenskaya community has led Elena Pavlovna to the idea of revival of the service of ancient female deacons, but this idea was not supported by people around her. The fi nal statute of the community was adopted only in 1870, after 16 years since it had been established. The aim of the community was not solely to offer medical care, but also to serve for free the poor, the impoverished, orphans, the imprisoned, to teach children from poor families and to exercise Christian mercy.


sisters of mercy, Krestovozdvizhenskaya Community of Sisters of Mercy, congregation of sisters of mercy, Protestant community of female deacons, Russian Empire, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, N. I. Pirogov, E. M. Bakunina, E. F. Raden, Russian Red Cross Society


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Information about the author

Efimushkina Ekaterina

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Post: lecturer;
ORCID: 0000-0001-7431-2953;
Email: Ekaterina-Petrova12@yandex.ru.