We are launching our new Online Christmas Market of St. Elisabeth Convent!
As you know, the joyous Christmas season is approaching! The season that is filled with love, family, and most importantly, God. In this article, you will learn about one of our Convent's beloved Christmas traditions through a true story of a Christmas miracle that one of our sisters experienced last year.
For many years, the sisters of Saint Elisabeth Convent have travelled across Europe and America to bring the joy of Christmas to all people. The sisters would visit Christmas markets in many different cities, selling the beautiful handmade items created in our Convent's many workshops.
Those unique items are very different from the things that you would normally find at Christmas markets.
This is why many people, who had never even heard about Orthodoxy before, became interested in the beautiful handcrafted icons and ornaments. Our sisters are always present to answer questions and speak to anyone interested in our faith.
Our goal at these Christmas markets is to bring Christ and His Gospel to people and share the Joy of Nativity of Jesus with as many people as possible. The items that we sell become the transmitters of love and joy.
Sister Olga (Maley) has been a part of the Convent's Sisterhood for years. She has travelled throughout Europe many times, selling the workshops' products and meeting new people.
She told us a beautiful story about a miracle she experienced at the Strasbourg city Christmas market in France last year. We would like to share that story with you because it shows how simply shopping at a Christmas market and meeting our sisters changed the life of one young man. Here is Sr. Olga's story:
In December 2019, we were participating in the Strasbourg Christmas market for a few days. One day, a young man, whom I didn't recognize, came up to us and asked me, "Do you remember me?" Unfortunately, I could not remember seeing him before, so I said no.
He told me that he had met me at the market a year before. He was interested in Orthodoxy, even though he was not familiar with the religion at the time. We had a nice conversation, he told me about his life, and I was so touched that I actually gave him a small gift - a small stone from the grave of Saint Seraphim of Sarov.
When he told me that, I immediately remembered him and asked him how he was doing. That is when he said that the small stone I gave him completely changed his life. I was shocked and wanted to know more about what happened.
It turns out that after we met at the market, he became very interested in the stone that I gave him. He wanted to know where it came from, so he did some research. He started learning about Orthodoxy and became so interested in the faith that he decided to go on a pilgrimage trip to Russia and Belarus, where he would be baptized as an Orthodox Christian.
He came to the market to see us and tell us his story. We exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch. He then sent me pictures from his trip, including the pictures of him being baptized with his new name - Nikolai.
This is how a simple acquaintance and a small Christmas gift can completely change a person's life.
This year has brought us some unexpected challenges. The Covid lockdowns and restrictions are back, and many of our sisters have had to change their travel plans. But even though we cannot meet so many of you face to face, no pandemic can take away the joy of Christmas from us.
This year, we are launching our first Online Christmas Market to give our friends worldwide the opportunity to shop over the Internet for the Christmas gifts from our Convent. We offer a wide selection of crafts, icons, ornaments, toys, wood products, ceramics, glass, nativity sets, and much more. Every piece is unique and is made with love and prayer. This is your chance to buy the perfect gift to share the joy of Christmas with your friends and family.
By buying our handmade items, you support our ministries and charitable projects for the benefit of the disadvantaged, the sick and the elderly in Belarus.
Start your online Christmas shopping now. Click here to browse our catalogue and make your selection. Please allow up to 14 business days for delivery.
From all of us here at Saint Elisabeth Convent, we wish you and your family a happy, blessed and very merry Christmas!
After nearly three weeks of closure, the Convent of Saint Elisabeth opened its doors on 20 May to visitors and parishioners.