Please help the Lesna Monastery

Dear beloved in Christ friends, pilgrims and benefactors of our monastery,
     As we enter Great Lent we turn to you with a plea to help our monastery. We make every effort to support ourselves and keep up the monastery buildings, but this past year has brought so many unexpected expenses and prices on the very basics: water, gas, heating fuel, electricity, have risen so sharply, that we find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Besides this, religious associations are not exempt from any taxes in France, and we are also legally bound to help pay for social services for our sisters: medical insurances and pension funds. New laws governing religious associations have made it necessary to re-register our monastery, which has not been cheap, and is complicated and nerve-wracking as well. All of you know our beautiful, but old and rundown estate, purchased with the blessing and assistance of St. John of Shaghai. Last year we marked the 6oth anniversary of our move to Provemont, to this place that was once known as “a jewel of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad”. This is the home of our ancient miracle working icon of the Lesna Mother of God, St. Philaret of New York spent his summers here, the Myrrhstreaming Iveron icon of the Mother of God from Montreal often visited us, along with her caretaker, Br. Jose, church councils and conferences were held here, and we have accommodated thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Please help us keep this place up properly, and make it possible for us to continue our life of prayer and monastic obedience. The Holy Church urges us to be especially charitable during Great Lent:

“In this season of repentance, let us stretch out our hands in works of mercy; and then the ascetic struggles of the Fast will bring us to eternal life. For nothing saves the soul so much as generosity to those in need, and all this with gladness, for there is no better way, and it will bring salvation to our souls.” (aposticha, Matins of Tuesday of the 2nd week) 

       We humbly beg you to take this appeal to heart, and to help us as you can. Our sisters will gladly pray for you and your dear ones, and especially for your reposed friends and relatives during this season of the Fast, when the Church constantly reminds us to remember them in our prayers.
We wish you a spiritually profitable Great Lent and beg your forgiveness for any possible offense that we might have caused.
                          With much gratitude and with love in Christ,
                             unworthy Abbess Macrina and sisters


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Elisabeth Evfrosinia 
Coudray (Eure), France
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