This book is published for the first time in true "book" format, in glossy hardcover, with large, easy-to-read text, with original illustrations by Y. Timoshenko in every chapter. Summary This book by popular Russian Orthodox writer Archpriest Alexander Torik was written by the author in 2010. The book is based on the true story of the extraordinary Russian eldress, Schemanun Sepfora, to whom the author dedicated this work. Through the heroine's remarkable story, the entire history of Russian monasticism and the whole believing Russian people of the twentieth century unfolds before the reader. Many Athonite and Russian monks have acclaimed this work as a reference book for contemporary monasticism and for all those seeking spiritual perfection. Back cover page Father Alexander, what can lay believers learn from the life of monastic ascetics? After all, monks and laymen lead such different lifestyles! Both monks and laity need to learn from monastic ascetics whom God has indicated as such with gifts of grace. First and foremost they need to learn self-denial in dedicating themselves to fulfilling Christ's commandments, in the remembrance of God's saving providence, and in striving to make their whole lives a service to Him. The commandment to love, love being the highest degree of holiness and God-likeness, is equally relevant for both monks and laity.