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January 12 

Saint of the day:

Saint Tatiana

Patron Saint of Students

(Russian Student's Day January 25)


The Story of Saint Tatiana of Rome

On January 25th, Saint Tatiana's Day is the Day of Russian Students and is a day of celebration in special higher and secondary educational institutions. The name of the day derives from the name of the Christian martyr Tatiana of Rome, whose memory is represented in the Orthodox Church on 25 January. Why this coincidence? Why "mix" Tat'jana's name with Russian students? We have to go back a few centuries to observe closely the birth of this interesting anniversary, much loved in particular by university students. On January 25, 1755, Empress Elizaveta Petrovna signed a decree for the establishment and opening of the Moscow University. In one of the dependencies of the university structure a church was created dedicated to the martyr Saint Tat'jana, that is precisely, the Saint who was honored on the day of the signing of the decree. Thus Saint Tatjana was declared patron of the whole Russian student body. Since ancient times, people have tried to learn more about their "own" saint, in order, through imitation of him, to approach the ideal itself. In the modern world, it is popular to look for the hidden meaning of names. At the heart of this approach is the belief that a person can control their own destiny and, for example, the fate of their children, if they do the right thing in the right order. Of course, this attitude towards life can not be dened as Christian. The Christian lives in the belief that his life is not in the power of the elements, the planets, the good or evil spirits, but in the hands of God. But it is also true that a person of Orthodox Christian religion knows that the people who bear the name of a saint with the latter have a close prayer relationship. In this article, published on the eve of Saint Tatiana, we try to nd out more about both the name and the legend of the Saint herself. It is rst of all interesting to note that the name Tatiana is of Roman origin as it derives from Tatius, king de Sabini. The name Tazio deriving from the Latin Tatius, was, and is currently a very rare male name, brought to the fore by the writer Thomas Mann and became popular only in the thirties with the notoriety achieved by the car racer Tazio Nuvolari. The female name Tat'jana (Tatiana) and its diminutive Tan'ja (Tania), is instead a name traditionally adopted in Russia. In the same, and in derived forms, it is common in many Slavic countries, but in the English-speaking world it was extremely rare until the end of the 20th century. Of course, the main merit in the disclosure of this name belongs to Aleksandr Sergeevič Puškin, who called Tat'jana Larina, the protagonist of his novel, Yevgeny Onegin. Before the appearance of this literary work, the name Tat'jana was primarily a name adopted by the peasant class that from the noble one, but soon the situation changed radically. Tat'jana became almost the most popular female name in Russia.

But as we have already mentioned above, the name of the day derives from the name of the Christian martyr Tatiana of Rome.

According to legend, Tatiana was born in an illustrious Roman family, her father had been elected consul three times. He was secretly a Christian and his daughter grew up in devotion to God and to the Church. After reaching the age of maturity, Tatiana decided to remain a virgin, disdaining all the earthly riches and dedicating all her eorts to the Church of Christ. She was made a deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God in fasting and prayer, nursing the sick and helping the needy. When Rome was governed by the sixteen year old Alexander Severus (222-235), all power had concentrated in the hands of the regent Ulpian, an evil enemy and persecutor of the Christians. Christian blood owed like water. According to legend, even the deacon Tatiana was arrested and taken to the temple of Apollo to force her to make a sacrice to the god Apollo, but when the Santa began to pray, suddenly there was an earthquake. The statue of Apollo fell in pieces, even a part of the temple collapsed, burying priests and pagans. Then they began to beat the Saint on her eyes, but she bravely endured everything, praying for her torturers for the Lord to open their spiritual eyes. And the Lord listened to his prayer. The executioners saw four angels that surrounded the saint and defended her from the beatings of her torturers; and there was also a voice from heaven calling on Tatiana. All of them, eight men, believed in Christ and fell on their knees in front of Santa Tatiana, asking her to forgive the sin committed against her. Confessing, however, which Christians were tortured and executed. In the following days Santa Tatiana was again brought before her judge. Seeing his wounds completely healed, he ordered them to be stripped and beaten, and to cut his body with sharp blades. Then from his wounds began to spread a wonderful scent that lled the air. Then she was lying on the ground and beaten for so long that the now tired torturers said that an invisible force was beating them with iron bars. In fact, the angels shielded the blows directed at her and rejected them on the executioners, and because of this nine of them died. Then they threw the Saint into prison, where she prayed all night singing praises to the Lord. According to the legend, started the new morning, Santa Tatiana was taken and brought once again to the court. The torturers saw with amazement that despite the terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They oered her a sacrice to the goddess Diana. The Saint seemed to accept, and they led her to the pagan temple. There Santa Tatiana made the sign of the cross and began to pray, suddenly there was the deafening roar of thunder, and a thunderbolt struck the statue of Diana, the sacricial oerings and the priests. Once again the martyr was ercely tortured. It was hung and scraped with iron hooks, and her breasts were cut o. During the night the angels appeared in the prison, and as before they healed his wounds. The following day, Santa Tatiana was taken to an amphitheater where a hungry lion was liberated and thrust against her. The beast brought no harm to the Saint, but humbly went to 8/19/2018 January 25th. Day of Saint Tatjana | Mother Russia 5/9 lick her feet. But as he was brought back to his cage, the lion with a paw killed one of the torturers. Then Tatiana was thrown into the re, but the ames did not harm the martyr. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair thinking of taking away her magical powers, then they locked her in the temple of Zeus. But none of these measures took eect. Three days later the pagan priests came to the temple, surrounded by a crowd of people, with the intention of oering a sacrice to Zeus. But at the opening of the temple everyone saw the statue of Zeus on the ground, shattered, and the holy martyr Tatiana who joyfully praised the Name of Jesus Christ. The judge, seeing the uselessness of the instruments of torture, issued a condemnation of death and so on 25 January 225 AD, Saint Tatiana was beheaded with a sword. Together with her, her father was also executed, because she had raised her in the true faith and brought to the love of Christ. His sepulcher in Rome has never been found. The relic of the head of Saint Tatiana that was venerated in Constantinople after the fall of the City (1453), when the pious prince Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521) reigned in Romania, was brought by the Craioveşti rulers to the Bistritsa Monastery together with the relics of Gregory the Decapulita. In 1955, the head of the saint was taken to the Diocese of Ramnic and transferred to the Cathedral of "Sfantul Dimitrie" in Craiova, Romania. The relic is enclosed in an urn with the skulls of Saints Sergius, Bacchus and Niphon of Constantinople. After the narration of the legend of Saint Tatjana is over, we are now returning to Russia. As we said, the Moscow State University, which is the largest university in Russia, was founded in Moscow on January 25, 1755. Initially the lessons were held in the pharmacy building located today in the Red Square. At that time, the University had only three faculties: Philosophy, Medicine, and Jurisprudence. Subsequently the university premises were transferred from Catherine II to the neoclassical palace located on Mokhovaja Street. Currently, in this place there is only the Faculty of Journalism and the Chapel of St. Tatjana, the other Faculties are located in the new building erected in the south-east of Moscow.

The Church of St. Tatjana is currently the chapel of the Moscow State University. A place of worship with an unusual architecture for a Russian church, because it was founded next to an old civil building. The Church of St. Tatiana was founded in 1836 with the transformation into a place of worship of an old building located on the right side, to meet the spiritual needs of students and teachers. The interior of the church was decorated with works by Ivan Petrovič Vitali, a Russian sculptor of Italian origin as the son of the sculptor Pietro Vitali. The church was consecrated on 25 September 1837 by the Metropolitan of Moscow who, in the sermon addressed to those present, stressed the need to join "a house of prayer under one roof with a house of wisdom". In this church, in February 1852, the funeral of the famous writer Nikolai Vasil'evič Gogol ', an honorary member of the University, was held there. Here, for the rst time, the poet Marina Tsvetaeva confessed and received Holy Communion. In 1913, on the frontispiece of the church the inscription was axed: "The light of Christ illuminates everyone"

In 1917, after the October Revolution, the Church of St. Tatiana was one of the rst churches to be closed. The feast of Saint Tatjana was abolished. In the Soviet period, the church building was used as a reading room. From 6 May 1958 this building served as the seat of the Student Theater of the Moscow University. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1993 many teachers proposed to the rector of the Moscow State University to reopen the Chapel of St. Tatiana in its ancient historical site. The church was reopened on January 22, 1995. For ten years restoration work was carried out to restore the original appearance. On March 7, 2004, the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, Alexis II, ociated the consecration ritual of the Church of St. Tatiana. In this sacred place are kept some relics of the Holy Martyr Tat'jana.  The President Vladimir Putin, with the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation, n. 76, of 25 January 2005, has nally allowed the party to come back to life and on 25 January it is ocially celebrated in Russia as the "Russian Student Day".

Her feast day is January 12th.









Cathedral of Saint Demetrios in Craiova, Romania


Moscow University Chapel





Moscow University Chapel





Honey Brushwood Pastry 


Servings:  10 

  • Dough

  • 1 egg 

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 4 tablespoons cognac

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 725 pr of flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 250 ml water

  • 100 gr butter  

  • 500 ml vegetable oil for frying

Honey syrup

  • 200 ml of water

  • 1 cup of sugar

  • 1/2 lemon, squeeze juice

  • 4 tablespoons natural honey

  • Top with chopped walnuts and powder sugar (optional)


  1. Preparation of the test: Whip the yolks with salt and powdered sugar. Add cognac, stir. Add milk and sour cream, beat. Gradually add flour, sifting it through a sieve. Knead the dough, cover with a film or a packet and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Then divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll one part of the dough into a 2 mm thick layer. Divide the dough into rectangles of 10 by 8. On each rectangle, make 8 or 10 horizontal lines using a dough roll (see the photo).

  2. Fold the rectangle in half, press the edges.

  3. Collect the ends of the dough in the shape of a boat.

  4. Uncover the middle.

  5. Tighten the upper end to the center and turn it out, shaping the boat.

  6. So do with all the layers of the test. Fry over medium heat in hot oil. Finished brushwood spread on a plate lined with paper napkins.

  7. Preparation of syrup: In a saucepan, boil water with sugar, add lemon juice and honey and cook for 10 minutes. In a lightly boiling syrup we lower one firewood for 30 seconds and put it on a plate. Look at the photos to make it clearer.

  8. Put the firewood in the syrup -

  9. after 30 seconds to pull out of syrup

  10. Photo of ready brushwood in a cut.


  • If you have a syrup left, then after the brushwood with the
    syrup has cooled down, you can re-dip all the firewood into honey syrup. 
    It will be even more delicious !!!

    For the dough:

  • 500 g of flour

  • 250 ml of milk

  • 50 g sour cream

  • 70 g of butter

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • a pinch of salt

  • 500 ml vegetable oil for frying

For syrup:

  • 250 g of sugar

  • 200 ml of water

  • 1-2 tbsp. spoons of honey a handful of walnuts

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