by Saint John Maximovitch of Tobolsk
with an appendix on The Inevitability of Suffering by New Martyr John of Riga
Originally written in 1709 by St John of Tobolsk, this book became very will known and beloved throughout Russia. Because of the obscurity of the original language (part-Slavonic, part-Ukrainian) many requested that it be translated into Russian. This was undertaken by Fr. Clement Sederholm, one of Elder Ambrose of Optina's closest disciples and author of many of the biographies of the elders of Optina monastery.
This book explore's the profound meaning of "bearing one's cross for Christ's sake". An angel speaks to a young woman named Stavrophila. He guides her to an understanding and acceptance of the Christian struggle to bear the sorrows and difficulities of life as a necessary means to purify oneself - heart, mind, will and body.