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Yevdokiya Dmitrievna

the wife of Dmitry Donskoy


 Can women's devotion, spirit strength and charm become unfashionable and out-of-date? What a man doesn't dream about such woman! The whole world, and every house, and every man has no future if he is not around and warmed by love and care of a woman.

Yevdokiya, a daughter of Grand Prince of Suzdal' and Nizhny Novgorod, was born in Suzdal' approximately in 1350. According to the words of her contemporaries "a face beauty and a rare heart kindness were combined in this woman". In 1367 she got married to a grandson of Ivan Kalita and Ivan's II son - Dmitry Donskoy, Grand Prince of Moscow and Vladimir. Karamzin wrote that their marriage was celebrated with luxury ceremonies in Kolomna.

Yevdokiya and Dmitry had been living in love for 22 years. 6 sons and 3 daughters were born. They overcame all difficulties together. Dmitry's reigned in a hard time. Moscow land had inside and outside conflicts, it was devastated by Tohtamysh's invasion and then was rebuilt again.

When Dmitry left home before the Kulikov battle (1380), he couldn't part his wife for some hours, at last he hugged her and exclaimed: "God is our defender!" During all his absence Yevdokiya prayed for him every day. Saint Sergey Radonezhsky predicted him "terrible bloodshed, but the victory… the death of many...  heroes, but the saving of Grand Prince". And indeed, Grand Prince was found after the battle, out of conscience, but alive.

On the portrait Yevdokiya is depicted after Dmitry's leaving. Her hair is not tressed - it is a symbol of a great sorrow. This portrait was made on the stone by Durnov I.T., then it was printed by "the lithography of the university printing-house" and published in magazine "Дамский журнал" in 1826.

People called Yevdokiya "Tsaritsa-mother". The chroniclers remarked that "Grand Princess Yevdokiya" helped a lot of poor people. Her "teachers" were Saint Alexey, Moscow Mitropolit and Saint Sergey Radonezhsky. Yevdokiya was a literate woman and she spoke several foreign languages.

In 1389 the 6th son Konstantin was born. But soon after the childbirth Dmitry suddenly fell ill. Feeling the death oncoming, he talked a lot with Yevdokiya, asked his children to be obedient and faithful to their Motherland and the Orthodox Church. Dmitry Ivanovich died on the hands of his beloved and devoted wife in 1389 at the age of 39.

Yevdokiya died in 1407 after 18 years of disconsolate widowhood. Before her death she took the veil in the Voznesensk nunnery, which she built in Moscow by the name of Yefrosin'ya. After the death she was joined to the Saints. The nunnery became the bury place of Russian Grand Princesses, Tsaritsas and Tsarevnas.

Девичник. 2001- 2006.
  Авторский журнал. 
© "Девичник/ Devichnick", 20012006.
© Оформление, текст, фотоматериалы Молотилова Л. К., 20012006.
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