The first convent in Tambov diocese was founded in 1690 with St. Pitirm’s private funds. The first mother superior was his sister — hegumene Ekaterina. The history of the Ascension convent is associated with the discovery of two miraculous sacred images of the Vyshinskaya Blessed Virgin and “Joy of All Who Sorrow”. Before the revolution the Ascension convent had three churches: the Ascension church (1789), the Church of Consolation of all the Afflicted (1820) and Antoniyevskaya domestic church (1894). The architectural ensemble of the convent was finished by the end of the 19th century. The convent complex included stone cellular blocks: six one- and two-storey buildings and a three-storey one. The convent also had a parish school for girls for 200 people. By the beginning of the 19th century the number of the nuns and novices reached 150 people and in 1917 — nearly 500.
In 1918, the convent was closed and looted but it had still been functioning as a labor collective where nuns had been living and where divine services had been held until 1925. The convent was officially abolished in 1927. The ancient Ascension church was ruined completely. In 1932, some nuns were arrested while one of them, born Elizaveta Budantseva, was shot. In 1990, the church in the name of “Joy of All Who Sorrow” icon was returned to the believers.
The central altar of the church was consecrated in the name of the icon of Mother of God (“Joy of All Who Sorrow”), the right side altar — in the name of the Prophet Elijah, the left side altar — in the name of St. Alexis, the man of God. The Church of Consolation of all the Afflicted is built in classic style.
Besides this church, the complex of the convent includes the buildings dating back to the 19th-20th centuries, a chapel on the grave of nun Miropia, a two-storey building with a church named after the righteous St. John of Kronstadt (built in 1997), a two-storey cell building, a hotel for pilgrims, a refectory as well as the regent branch building of Tambov Theological Seminary. In 2005, the relics of the reverend Martha of Kirsanovo were rediscovered. The relics together with the chains, prayer beads and the tombstone are now in possession of the convent.
In 2007, the reconstruction of the Ascension cathedral of the convent began. Today it is a colorful cathedral combining the elements of the ancient Moscow church architecture, the Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow and Byzantine traditions.
Источник фотографий: Russia.Travel