We stood there and didn’t know what was going on. Who is this very special young lady of only 12 years old standing up for herself in such a matter? Grisha tells us that this little girl is soon to become Saint Euphrosyne Of Polacak. "You are witnessing a very special moment as she decides now to not take the traditional path in life, which would mean marry a Prince, have kids, and so on," Grisha says. "Instead, she will choose to become a nun, an enlightener, and a peacemaker, who will play a very big role in many peoples' lives and for Belarusians today. In the coming days she will go to the monastery and devote her life to the church and will change her name to Euphrosyne. And she will do all of this without telling her parents!"
"Wow, that is so brave!" Marta and Masha say at the same time.
Grisha says: "Let's do something different in this travel. Let's see what will become of this little girl in 40 years. Let us travel to the year 1156..." We step into our Grisha, super excited by this unexpected surprise of visiting one hero twice in her lifetime. Before we know it, Grisha opens the door and... there we are, in the middle of a beautiful church. "This must be the Church of the Holy Saviour that still stands today in Polatsk after having survived occupations, military attacks and various destructions" Marta says. "Wow its beautiful! Just look at all these frescoes!"
Then we look more towards the altar of the church and see that something big is happening. Many people are excited and screams are heard now and then. We want to see what is going on. We get closer.. and then we see it! It’s a big Cross that Euphrosyne is holding. That must be the thing everyone is going crazy for... but why? It's just a cross. Well.. have we underestimated THIS cross! We hear Euphrosyne explaining to the crowd the magic of this cross: ‘This very cross I hold in my hand is made of Cypress (a tree!), and inside of it there are pieces of many important Christian Saints to be found. It is made of gold and silver plates and precious stones. As you will see there is also several inscriptions on the cross!" She continues by saying that this is our pride, our unification: "I want this cross to bring happiness, wisdom and spirituality to everyone." We hear loud applause and cant wait to see the cross up close! When we see it we are blown away by its beauty. It is truly one of a kind symbol!
"We are truly sorry to have to tell you this," Masha says, "but it is true: in 2018, no one really knows what happened to the cross or where it is!" The biggest spiritual symbol of Belarus it is also one of the biggest mysteries. Euphrosyne just stared at us for a while in disbelief. After some time, she spoke: "I am a bit shocked right now, so I would like you to leave and let me think about this." We apologize again and let her know that she is an amazing woman and that she means a lot to Belarusians even in the 21st century! "Thank you ladies, I wish you a good trip back to the future!" She then leaves us.
As we go back to our time in Grisha, we feel very pleased to have met this wonderful lady. Euphrosyne knew what she wanted from a very young age, and she wasn't afraid to go against very powerful traditions. She has given future Belarus something very important: a story of a brave woman that inspired others to do good. She passed on a lot of knowledge and spiritual power to future generations. She has built a church, a monastery, and a school. She started icon painting workshops. She copied and wrote books. She brought a sacred icon to her church. We are very grateful to have witnessed a glorious masterpiece of religious craftwork, the Cross of St. Euphrosyne. To this day, it is still a Belarusian national symbol and a national mystery!
Euphrosyne was known for her peacemaking missions.