Recorded in the XV-XVI centuries the story of Murom St. Peter and Fevronia, who lived at the turn of the XII-XIII centuries, is one of the best examples of ancient perception of the Orthodox Faith
Studies underscore the connection between "The Story of St. Peter and Fevronia of Murom" with folk traditions (The Tale of Peter and Fevronia. Preparation of texts and study R.P.Dmitrievoy, L., 1979). In this fairy tale motifs subordinate to the spiritual ideals of the Church of Christ.
In one of the farmhouses in the village near Ryazan Affectionately messenger sent to find a doctor for a sick Duke Peter of Murom, he saw a strange sight: in the loom was sitting maiden named Fevronija and weaving the canvas, and the rabbit jumped in front of her. Speaking in riddles, Fevronija experienced guest on knowledge of the "language of wisdom." The first parable Fevronia "badly when the house without ears and the house without eyes" contained a message that Fevronija — an unmarried woman with no children (Smirnov, A Tale of the better half of the Maiden Fevronia, the Christian and the pagan mentality and rehabilitation Murom "svyatogonov," Uvarov reading — IV. Bogatyrsky world, epic, myth, history, "Moore, 14-16 April 1999, Moore, 2003), she has a rabbit, but not the dog:" If I were in our house dog, it would have sensed that you come up to the house, and began to bark at you: it's — ears at home. And if I was in the front room of my child (text versions of "Founding", "child"), then saw that coming into the chamber, I would say this: it's — eyes at home "(Life of St. Peter Prince and Princess Fevronia, Murom miracle workers, and akathist. Holy Trinity Diocesan monastery, Moore, 2004).
Analyzing the puzzle Fevronia, a member of the Murom Historical and Art Museum Smirnov writes: "The demonic creatures of all levels often take the shape of a dog. The absence of a dog in the house Fevroniya stressed denies its connection with the chthonic world "(Smirnov, A Tale of the Maiden Fevronia better half, the Christian and the pagan mentality and the rehabilitation of Murom" svyatogonov, "Uvarov reading — IV. Bogatyrsky world, epic, myth, Story "by Moore, 14-16 April 1999, Moore, 2003). But it is doubtful whether the absence of a dog may indicate a superstitious attitude Fevroniya to this animal. Instead, the wise words of the Virgin" is bad when a house without ears and the house without eyes " evidence of her desire to get married, have children, and have a dog that guards the house. One of the versions of the story St. Fevronia said: "The dog in the house hearing and ears, and eyes in the house — the cat" (The Tale of Peter and Fevronia) .
Fevronia of Murom not only in the history of Christianity, holy, which had a hand hare. Iconography Melangell saint of Wales (VI century, the memory of 17/30 May) includes an image of a rabbit rescued from hunters. In the protected areas, where the saint labored Melangell, banned hunting of birds, and St. Fevronia keeps the natural reserve "Murom" and "Oakland" — ecologically clean zone along the Oka from Muroma to Ryazan. According to legend, the Welsh recluse called her a hare, "lamb", so the icons rabbit holy Melangell like a lamb, and rabbit in Wales is known as the "little lamb Melangell» (Oen bach Melangell). The similarity with the rabbit and lamb mentioned in Russian folklore, where the rabbit is called "forest lamb." However, in Murom iconography hare St. Fevronia often plays like a dog or a cat napping.
Becoming the wife of the prince, Fevronija not leave folk custom to gather the crumbs after a meal. Usually leftovers villagers feed the animals and birds, and have been Fevroniya hare. But in the Middle Ages feeding a rabbit (as well as snakes, toads, etc.) could be suspected of witchcraft: "The Devil in the form of a toad, who whispered in his ear matriarch Eve in paradise, paradise is always sitting among flowers near the temple, waiting for someone feed him some communion bread crumbs »(GL Kittredge, Witchcraft in Old and New England, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1929). "In a number of animals with obvious demonic properties in Slavic mythology is and the hare. Evil spirits often takes the form of a hare "(Smirnov, A Tale of the better half of the Maiden Fevronia).
The Story of St. Peter and Fevronia, says: "One day a man from the Ministering Princess Fevronia came to Prince Pyotr and uttered her:" Every time — he said — finishing a meal, not after the order of the table is: before you get , collects the crumbs in his hand, as if hungry! "And blessed Prince Peter, wanting to try it, and commanded her to have lunch with him at the table. And when dinner was over, she said, according to his custom, gathered the crumbs in his hand. Then the prince took Peter and Fevronia hand, opened it, saw the fragrant incense and incense. And from that day he did not feel more than ever "(Life of St. Peter Prince and Princess Fevronia). It may be that miracle of turning crumbs in church incense is not only justified the village Fevroniya habit, but was saved from the suspicion of hare princesses. As is known, the devils flee from incense and incense. Consequently, the hare Fevroniya had nothing to magical rituals (Smirnov, A Tale of the Maiden Fevronia better half). The Church celebrates the Peter and Fevronia as "evil customs and pagan suemudry eradicator" (Life of St. Peter Prince and Princess Fevronia).
Going back to the talks Fevroniya a servant of the prince, we note that the second riddle of the wise maiden related to the theme of memory of the death: "My father and mother went on loan to cry, my brother also went through the legs to look death in the eye." Intuitively, anticipating the condition of Prince Peter, the Orthodox healer spoke about the difference between life and death: "And what I said about my father and mother, they went on loan to cry — it is they went to the funeral and mourning the dead man there. And when death comes to them, others will mourn them: it is — crying loan. About the same as his brother said, because my father and brother — dart frogs in the forest through the trees harvested honey. And today, my brother went bortnichat, and when he climbs up a tree, it will look through your feet on the ground, so as not to break away from a height. That's why I said that he went through the legs to look death in the eye. "
Smirnov points to the fact presented in the "Story of the Establishment of Christianity in Murom": "And the dead belt weaving drevolaznaya with him into the land of pogrebayuschii." Drevolaznye device, as we see, is directly linked to the manner of death, and as grave goods have always had a certain functional and symbolic meaning, the first thing that comes to mind in this regard — these "weaving" the dead need to use them to climb up to the sky on the trunk of the world tree "(Smirnov, A Tale of the Maiden Fevronia better half).
The story of Peter healing contains Murom and Ryazan parallel to the verses of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (VII century). In repentance "Andreeva standing" are mentioned and the "snake venom" and "wounds", and even "healing room": "Oblekohsya a torn robe, Yuzha E Cleaning the serpent … crusts ulcers attach itself … Omy me, O Lord, by the washing of my tears, I pray thee, my flesh whiten clothes, as snow "(The Great Canon. Creation of St. Andrew of Crete). Snow, in the tradition of the Church symbolizes purification and transformation (Ps. 50. 9, Isa 1. 18, Mark 9. 3) in Russia since ancient times was considered beneficial to health. In Ryazan legends of St. Fevronia complete healing of Peter snowfall in the summer.
In this context, it seems reasonable to symbolically suggested by AL Beglova interpretation of the illness of Prince Peter, "The serpent is defeated, but before his death he sprayed his poisonous blood of Peter, and Peter ill. Disease Duke Peter, that is, in the language of allegory: a certain inferiority of his nature in general — and the complication is "The Tale of Peter and Fevronia." And Peter's illness so severe inferiority of his nature is so significant that if you do not fix it impossible for Peter to life itself. The condition for the healing of Peter is married with Fevronia. In the language of allegory, this marriage is itself a medicine, complementary nature of the lack of Peter, the Lord's plan for him "(AL Beglov, Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom, the Alpha and the Omega, № 1 (15) 1998).
At a meeting with the young prince messenger Fevronija weaving the canvas. In his old age he was tonsured Fevronija embroidered images of the saints in the air for the cathedral church of the Blessed Virgin. Significantly, covered with sores and scabs from the "snake blood," Peter asked Fevronia "inflict" his new clothes: "I sent it to her with one of his servants, small bundle of linen, saying:" This girl wants to be my wife for the sake of his wisdom. If she is wise, let this make me a linen shirt, and clothing, and a scarf for a while, until I shall be treated in a bath. "
Change of clothes, "poisoned serpent" in the garments of salvation — a common sign of Christianity in spiritual healing. The body of Peter, during an illness covered with sores and scabs, it was completely healed in life, and in the coffin — having found incorrupt and fragrant. In akathist to the Holy Prince Peter and Princess Fevronia, Muromsky miracle workers, said: "Rejoice, for the princely purple hair shirt monastic premenivshii; Rejoice, holy assumes the schema in the armor of salvation, rejoice, clothed in a robe of grace incorruptibility."
Bundle of flax, jokingly sent Fevroniya Prince Peter, became the golden thread, forever connected the lives of two strugglers, the end of life, by mutual agreement to don the robes of angels: "At a time when the blessed nun and Fevronia, betrothed Euphrasinia, embroidered with images of saints in the air Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Peter and Blessed Prince, named David sent for her to say, "O sister Efrosinia! It's time to death, but am waiting for you to move along to God. " She said, "Wait a minute, sir, while doshyu air holy church." He sent a second time to say, "Not for long I can wait for you." And for the third time sent to say: "It is dying and I can not wait any longer!" It is at this time finished embroidering the saint Air only in the face of a saint already embroidered, and still did not finish the mantle: and stopped and stuck the needle in the air his and shook it around the thread, which was embroidering. And sent word to the blessed Peter, named David, was dying with him. And, having prayed, they both gave their holy souls into God's hands. "
A lot of pilgrims visit the Holy Trinity Monastery in Murom, to venerate the relics of Saints Peter and Fevronia, who by the will of God rest in a single coffin. Worship in the revered icon of the pious Peter and Fevronia committed in Moscow's Cathedral of the Assumption of the Grand Nikita ("Small Voznensenie"). The Temple and the Tomb of the Virgin, in the village of hermit Melangell Pennant Melangell in Wales are known to Orthodox Christians of England, reviving the ancient tradition of pilgrimage.