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Archbishop Vikenty of Yekaterinburg Asks Women To Enhance Their Beauty With Prayer Rather Than With Make-Up

Yekaterinburg, 31 January 2008 (Interfax), Published February 4, 2008:

Archbishop Vikenty of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye believes that women should forgo cosmetics so that their natural beauty can shine forth. “The Lord gives us beauty and we go and disfigure it, for what reason, I don’t know. This is fraudulent and it is a total misunderstanding of what true beauty is. Look how lovely unadorned simplicity is! Look at our sweet little girls. Why do you put makeup on them when they are already as beautiful as angels? Look at how we spoil the looks of people by using cosmetics!” He said this in answer to questions to an interview on the television channel Soyuz, which was simulcast on the radio station Voskreseniye (Resurrection). Vladyki criticised the use of eye-shadow in particular. “That is simply horrid. They make what is beautiful ugly, but, they think they are making themselves more beautiful”.

“Let’s be honest. This mocks the natural beauty that the Lord gives us. But… we want to be more beautiful than God made us”, Vladyki Vikenty said in his regular Thursday broadcast presented by the Information/Publishing Division of the Yekaterinburg Diocese. He stresses that true beauty “comes from the soul, it infuses itself throughout one’s entire being, and it becomes spiritual and luminous”. Vladyki said that this was the beauty “the saints struggled so hard for”. “It necessary for us to desire spiritual beauty and this shall help us to gain physical beauty as well. This is hard work. However… it is also hard work to put on makeup and cosmetics, and, by God, the ladies DO work at it. Our poor women sit before the mirror for a long time to properly put on all these things. In the end, they are covered with makeup in order to appear ‘beautiful’, but, in reality, this is not as good as the natural beauty that a woman has”, Archbishop Vikenty said. He believes that if all the time spent putting on makeup were devoted to prayer and repentance “true beauty would then shine forth from a woman’s face”.

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