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The Elder Simeon’s stones and holy springs near Troitskaya Vikhlyayka

Troitskaya Vikhlyayka settlement was founded by runaway people in 1635 on the lands of former Trinity Tsna monastery. An old legend about the elder Simeon is passed from a father to a son, from a grandfather to a grandchild. He retired from the world and lived his life in the woods praying on one stone, sleeping on the other one and using water from the nearby spring. The elder was gifted with foresight, abilities to cure people from various diseases, talk to wild animals, especially with wolves. Somtimes Simeon went to the village with a wolf cub in his bosom while a wolf pack always accompanied him waiting at the near the woods. Mushroomers and hunters often met the elder in the woods surrounded by a numerous wolf pack. According tot he legend, Simeon ate apples that were in abundnace in the local woods. The locals believe that those apples were “the rejuvenating apples“ from the fairy-tales. The old-timers recalled that the elder’s death was detected by the wolf howling heard from the woods. After his death, the place where the Elder used to do all his spiritual feats became hallow. Pilgrims started visiting the spring near the hermit’s yellow stone.

In 2011, the springs in Chelnavka forest near Troitskaya Vikhlyanka settlement were consecrated. One of the springs – in the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the icon of her called “Joy of All Who Sorrow“, and the other one – in the name of “All Tambov saints”. People visiting the springs believe that here they can be cured not only from the physical diseases but from the mental ones as well. The villagers did an effort to build a pool and a font here. The spring is surrounded by a well with a bench near to have a rest.

Troitskaya Vikhlyayka village, Sosnovka district, Tambov region
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