|Lintula Monastery of the Holy Trinity
|Church of Constantinople
The Lintula Monastery of the Holy Trinity is the only monastery for women of the Church of Finland and is located in the Palokin village of the district of Heinävesi in the eastern part of Finland. The current igumenia (abbess) is Mother Marina.
Lintula Monastery was established in 1894 when the Council of F. P. Neronov made a donation to establish a farm at Lintula village. The next step was the establishment of the Lintula Holy Trinity community for women in 1895 that was re-designated a monastery. The name Lintula for the monastery followed from the name of the nearby village and river. Establishment of an Orthodox monastery in a largely Lutheran countryside presented difficulties. The necessary approvals by the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia and the Russian government was obtained in the summer of 1895. During these early years the monastery was involved in the establishment of Russian schools for the Finnish children.
When Finland obtained her independence from Russia in 1917, ties with Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church were cut. The Orthodox Church was nationalized and the Russian schools were closed. The change in the political atmosphere and a civil war disrupted the activities at Lintula. Additionally, war caused food shortages. The sisterhood of the monastery conducted an orphanage during these troubled times. Initiating the orphanage program created an issue as almost all the nuns were Russian citizens, which required obtaining authorization from the Finnish Ministry of Education.
In November 1939, life in the monastery was disrupted by the Winter War with the Soviet Union. All activities were discontinued as the residents of the monastery escaped to safer places. Most of the monastery buildings were destroyed and were forgotten as the sisters could not return. In January 1946, the nuns moved to their new home in Palokkiin, re-establishing the Lintula monastery near the monastery of New Valaam that provided the spiritual needs of the sisterhood.
At the time the monastery was re-established in its new home, the population of sisters was made up mainly of Russians with some Ukrainians, Karelians, and a few Finns. During the 1970s and 80s more Finnish novices joined the community. During these years the sisterhood earned an income and met their expenses through agricultural endeavors. In recent years, however, the monastery has received much of its income through visiting tourists. In 2004, all agricultural work ended and the fields and animals were sold as tourism became the main industry of the monastery, reaching 20,000 to 25,000 pilgrims each summer.
The monastery has had an active building program. In the late 1960s the monastery renovated an old mansion for living quarters. In 1973, the monastery built a new church. In 1988, a building was completed that functions as a candle factory and shop, as well as a gift shop. In the early 1990s, the living quarters for the sisterhood were renovated.
Lintula monastery leaders
- Headmistress Emerald 1894-1898
- Headmistress Florentina 1900-1901
- Igumenia Feokista 1900-1910
- Igumenia Dosifeja 1911-1916
- Directress Olimpiadi 1916
- Headmistress Sergia 1916-1918
- Igumenia Larisa 1918-1931
- Igumenia Arsenia 1931-1961
- Igumenia Mikhail 1961-1974
- Igumenia Antonia 1974-1998
- Igumenia Marina 1998-present