CONCEPTION STAUROPEGIAL CONVENT
The Conception convent is the oldest convent in Moscow. In 1360 St. Alexy, Metropolitan of Moscow, built a wooden Church of the conception of the righteous Anna and founded a convent, the first nuns of which were his sisters, hegumeness Juliana and nun Eupraxia. In 1547 the convent was destroyed by fire and placed closer to the Kremlin.
The original location housed a small monastic community that became a monastery in 1584 under the patronage of Czar Feodor Ioannovich. At the same time they built there the Church of the Conception of the righteous Anne with the chapel of the Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates, the Church of the Martyress Irina and the refectory Church in honor of the Nativity of the Virgin. The convent was seriously damaged during the Polish invasion in 1612, but was soon restored.
In 1696 the gate Church of the Vernacularize Image of the Saviour was built at the expense of Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov, nobleman of Peter I. In 1766 the temple in the name of the Mother of God of “the Burning Bush” was constructed over the graves of the founders of the monastery, hegumeness Juliana and nun Eupraxia.
Within the period from 1885 till 1887 the temple became part of the monastic buildings, and the chapel in the name of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God was created. Within the period from 1804 till 1807 they replaced ancient temples with the grandiose Nativity Cathedral with side-chapels of the Conception of righteous Anna, the Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates, St. Alexy, Metropolitan of Moscow, and the Kazan icon of the Mother of God (architect M. F. Kazakov). Since ancient times an asylum for aged nuns and a handicraft workshop were established in the convent. They intended a newly constructed within the period from 1844 till 1850 separate stone building (architect M. D. Bykovsky) with the temple of the Descent of the Holy Spirit for the asylum. In the XIX and the XX centuries many residential and maintenance buildings appeared on the territory of the convent.
In 1927 the convent was closed. Some icons of the convent were transferred to the Church of the Elijah the Prophet. On the 16th of March, 1925, 9 days before his death, St. Tikhon, Patriarch Of All Russia, chanted his last liturgy here.
In the 1930s the Cathedral, the bell tower and the temple in the name of the Icon of the Mother of God of “the Burning Bush” were completely destroyed, and their place was taken by a typical school building. The temple of the Descent of the Holy Spirit was rebuilt beyond recognition; the walls surrounding the convent were partially destroyed. In the 1960s they performed an external restoration of the gate temple, a spectacular example of the style "Moscow Baroque".
In 1991 the Sisterhood in the name of the Mother of God "Merciful" started revival of the nunnery. The church services were resumed in 1993.
In 1995 the Sisterhood was given the status of stavropegial convent by the decree of the Holy Synod. On the 25th of November, 1999 during the solemn Cross Procession the Icon of the Mother of God "Merciful" and the verge of the last hegumeness were relocated to the Conception Convent.
The glorification in the sainthood of the Juliana, first hegumeness of the convent, and nun Eupraxia was conducted on the 16th of May, 2001.
In November 2002 after relocation of the secondary school, the building was demolished. In the spring of 2003 they began archaeological studies. Excavations and researches resulted in finding a unique collection of pectoral crosses, icons, liturgical objects, coins, and ceramics. They discovered a large number of tombstones and graves. The remains of the foundations and architectural fragments from all four temple churches were found.
On the 5th of November, 2005, on the day of celebration of the Mother of God "Merciful", his Holiness Patriarch Alexy II made the laying of the Foundation stone of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin.
On the 25th of November, 2008, Archbishop Arseny of Istra performed the consecration of the 11 bells of the Cathedral belfry.
On the 25th of November, 2009, his Holiness Patriarch Kirill consecrated 5 large and 3 small crosses that were installed on the same day on the dome of the Cathedral being under construction.
On the 16th of September, 2010 the lesser consecration of the first of the chapels of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in honor of the Mother of God “the Burning Bush” was conducted. On the 17th of September, on the day of the patronal festival of the temple, they chanted the first liturgy. The liturgy was led by Archbishop Arseny of Istra. On the 4th of November the first liturgy was performed in the Kazan chapel of the cathedral, consecrated by a minor rank priest one day before.
On the 25th of November, 2010 his Holiness Patriarch Kirill conducted the great consecration and chanted the first divine liturgy in the restored cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. He consecrated 7 thrones: the one of the Nativity of the Virgin (the main one), the one of the righteous God the Father of Joachim and Anna, the one of the Enlightener Alexy and the Right Reverend Alexy, man of God, the one of the Hieromartyr Cyprian and the martyr Justina, the one of the Right Reverend Juliana and Eupraxia of Moscow, the one of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and the one of the Blessed Virgin in honor of the Mother of God “the Burning Bush”. Other 3 chapels of Demetrius of Thessalonica, the Great Martyr, of St. blessed princess Juliania of Vyazemsk and the chapel of All Reverend fathers and mothers are under construction.
On the eve of the feast during all-night vigil they performed the transfer of the miraculous icon of the Mother of God "Merciful" from the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit into the Cathedral, where a white stone carved frame with tent-shaped canopy was prepared for the icon.
The icon of the Mother of God "Merciful"; the crucifix with a particle of the blood of Christ, the tree of the cross and the Holy Sepulcher, the icon of the Great Martyr George the Victory-bearer, the Great Martyr Panteleimon with particle of the relics; the icon of the Conception of the righteous Anna, the reliquary with the particle of Holy relics of new martyrs and confessors of Russia. The burial place of the founders of the convent hegumeness Juliana and nun Eupraxia is particularly venerated.
They arranged and consecrated a temple of the Conception of the righteous Anna in the new refectory church. The chapel in honor of St. Alexy, Metropolitan of Moscow, was built under the gate temple and consecrated. Renovation and restoration works are conducted in the convent. In 2001 they began reconstruction of the temple of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.
- the gate Church of the Vernacularize Image of the Saviour;
- the Temple of the Conception of the righteous Anna in the refectory church;
- the temple of the Descent of the Holy Spirit;
- the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin;
- the Chapel of St. Alexy, Metropolitan of Moscow.
Daily Liturgy at 8.00, before which they hold a service with the akathist to the venerable Juliana and Eupraxia, on holidays and Sundays at 8.30 am, evening service at 17.00, on Saturdays – at 16.00. In Thursday evening except the days of the great feasts or of the Twelve Great Feasts they serve paraklesis in front of the Icon of the Mother of God "Merciful", on Sunday nights the akathist to the acheiropaeic image of the Saviour and the Holy Spirit, or to the holy righteous Joachim and Anna (each after each) are served.
Life apart from the church service
There is an asylum for the aged and sick nuns of the convent and the orphanage. A communion bread bakery, a pastry, a sewing workshop, a library and a publishing house are also operating in the convent.
A farmstead in the village Barvikha in Moscow region functions as well.
Hegumeness Juliana (Kaleda Maria Glebovna)