This Convent is large even by the standards of the capital city of Belarus, though founded a little more than two decades ago: there are over a hundred nuns there and a dozen churches all over the city and suburbs. The Convent is involved in a wide range of charitable, informational and cultural activities; its artists and craftsmen have gained fame by their icons and frescoes, supplying Belarus, Russia and other countries with numerous pieces of decorative art, iconography and other related items.
The Convent bears the name of the New Martyr Grand-Duchess Elizabeth; born Princess Ella of Hesse, was married to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, governor of Moscow, brother of Emperor Alexander III.
In 1905 Prince Sergei was slain by a revolutionary terrorist. After his death, Elisabeth refused to get re-married. She participated in the Moscow branch of the Red Cross, in the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, thanks to which Russia established itself in the Holy Land, and founded the Convent of Martha and Mary in Moscow.
Within a day from the murder of her brother-in-law, Emperor Nicholas II, her sister Empress Alexandra and their family, Grand-Duchess Elizabeth and her cell-attendant nun Barbara were buried alive in an abandoned mine. Later she was interred in the Holy Land, where her remains were carried by the White Army through China.
Grand-Duchess St. Elisabeth was canonized only recently (under the Communist yoke a mere reference to the New Martyrs could cause criminal prosecution), yet has already become one of most popular saints among the Christian believers of our countries.
This is an icon of Grand-Duchess St. Elizabeth, painted by the nuns of the Convent. - There is nearly a score of workshops and studios within the fold of the Convent, from metalwork to publishing, from mosaic to wood carving, from wax candle making to gold plating etc.; their production, being in high demand locally, also fills orders from nearly all over the Globe.
Everyone is welcome to place an order with the Convent on its English-language web site; as matter of fact, the same information is available there in German, French and Italian. Wholesale orders are also welcome. The following short video in English illustrates a few of the diverse services provided by the nuns of St. Elizabeth Convent.