Maria Skobtsova

Maria Skobtsova, a saint in Russian Orthodoxy and a Righteous Gentile to Yad Vashem, took a very unlikely route to immortality. Born to a noble family in Riga, Latvia, she became an atheist, married young and became a fixture in radical politics and the literary scene in St. Petersburg, Russia. She divorced and married a Bolshevik, plotted to assassinate Trotsky, served as a smalltown mayor, got arrested and acquitted while her husband was converting to Roman Catholicism. She got rid of him, joined the emigré Russian population in Paris, and was attracted to her ex-husband’s faith. She devoted herself to working with the poor; her bishop suggested she become a nun. She agreed as long as she didn’t have to live in a monastery. Instead her house became a sanctuary for the poor, and as Naziism arose she was approached by Jews for baptismal certificates, which she and a priest supplied until they were arrested by the Gestapo. She was gassed at the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany on Holy Saturday, 1945. (Wikipedia)

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