Today, the 71st anniversary of the transitus (the death) of Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (1891-1945). She was Latvian by birth. Saint Maria is an Orthodox nun who was killed in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with her son, Yuri. Saint Maria Skobtsova is known as the Orthodox Dorothy Day, or the Orthodox Woman of the Beatitudes.
Jim Forrest writes, “She was certain that there was no other path to heaven than participating in God’s mercy. As she wrote: “The way to God lies through love of people. At the Last Judgment I shall not be asked whether I was successful in my ascetic exercises, nor how many bows and prostrations I made. Instead I shall be asked did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners. That is all I shall be asked. About every poor, hungry and imprisoned person the Savior says ‘I’: ‘I was hungry and thirsty, I was sick and in prison.’ To think that he puts an equal sign between himself and anyone in need…. I always knew it, but now it has somehow penetrated to my sinews. It fills me with awe.”