Biography of Lidia Gildebrandt (Sisters of the Holy Spirit)

Born in 1889 into the family of a government clerk. Prior to 1914 she lived in Kronstadt; she married a naval officer and the family moved to Helsinki. In October 1917 her husband was killed by sailors and she was left a widow with a small daughter. In November she moved to Petrograd. She was a homemaker and a member of one of the parishes. In 1920 she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, taking the name Catherine. In the autumn of 1922 she founded an order of sisters at the Russian Catholic parish of the Descent of the Holy Spirit (“Sisters of the Holy Spirit”). In March 1923 she became the president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in the community. January 10, 1924 – arrested in connection with a case against Russian Catholics. May 19, 1924 – sentenced under Article 61 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in prison under strict isolation [OGPU Collegium].Sent to Kostroma Prison; in July 1927 she was transferred to the Yaroslavl political isolator. From January to March 1932 she was in the Butyrka Prison hospital. March 22, 1932, upon the petition of Mme. Catherine Peshkova [of the Political Red Cross], she was released early from prison but prohibited from living in the six major cities or the borderland regions. May 1932 – departed for Lipetsk. Fate thereafter unknown. Translator’s Note: A letter from her 12-year-old daughter to the GPU in 1927 is cited in Deborah Hoffman, The Littlest Enemies, pp. 23-24. Sources: GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 59, l. 59, 62; d. 67, l. 101-102; d. 75, l. 78-81; d. 78, l. 174-175; d. 1699, l. 17-19, 53; d. 737, l. 52-73; Osipova (1999), p. 328; Abrikosova et al. (1924); Shkarovskii, p. 257
Variant Names:
Gildebrandt, Lidia; Gil'debrandt, Lidiia Konstantinovna (Ekaterina)
Kronshtadt (Russia); Helsinki (Finland); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Kostromskai︠a︡ oblastʹ (Russia); I︠A︡roslavlʹ (I︠A︡roslavskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Moscow (Russia); Lipet︠s︡k (Russia)
female; clergy and religious; fate unknown