Elizaveta Iurievna Kuzmina-Karavaeva Skobtsova, later known as Mother
Maria, was a Russian Orthodox religious thinker, poet and artist. Her
multi-faceted legacy includes articles, poems, art, and drama. In the 1910s she
was part of the literary milieu of St. Petersburg and was a member of the
Socialist Revolutionary Party. She fled Russia soon after the Bolsheviks'
takeover and lived in Paris, where she became a nun. In 1935, she participated
in organizing the so-called Orthodox Action, which was designed to help Russian
immigrants in France. She and her fellow-workers from Orthodox Action opened a
house for homeless and sick immigrants in Paris. During the Nazi occupation of
the city, the house was transformed into a refuge for Jews and displaced
persons. Mother Maria and her son were arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and died
in the Ravensbruck camp in Germany. Mother Maria's selfless devotion to people
and her death as a martyr will never be forgotten. In 2004, the Holy Synod
confirmed the glorification of Mother Maria.