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Monastery candidate outside Moscow self-immolates after testing positive for COVID-19

A candidate (a poshlushnik, or “novice”) for the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra monastery outside Moscow has reportedly killed himself after testing positive for COVID-19. Before dawn on April 24, after he was hospitalized with coronavirus, Dmitry Pelipenko apparently knocked out a first-floor window, walked to the hospital’s church, and set himself on fire, receiving burns on roughly 90 percent of his body. He was then placed in intensive care, where he died two days later.

According to clergy members, Pelipenko had received psychiatric care for mental illness two years earlier — a condition he did not disclose when joining the monastery.