Just under 20 years ago our community appeared next to a mental health institution on the outskirts of Minsk. It 'grew' from an Orthodox sisterhood serving in a psychiatric hospital. Today many of the sisters that stood at its origins have put on monastic habits.
All you peoples of the earth/ sing together a hymn of glory/ to the Pure and most Holy Virgin/ from whom the Word of God came to us,/ receiving flesh from Her in a manner beyond understanding./ Let us cry out: Blessed are You among women,/ and blessed is Your womb.
Two years ago, we started a new tradition here at Saint Elisabeth Convent. Every Transfiguration night we gather on the mount Lysaya near Minsk (it is the second-highest mount in Belarus), celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the open air and consecrate apples and other fruits.