On February 7, 2023, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi performed the monastic tonsure of the nun Maria Buniel, with name Olga, in honor of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Princess Olga. The monastic tonsure took place in the church in honor of St. Matrona of Moscow in Davao. After the Sacrament, Metropolitan Pavel said to the nun Olga: “We were praying now that the Lord would accept your labors, your prayers, your soul’s aspiration for the Lord, and I know that you are doing everything and will do it, and God willing, you will still work in the field of Christ, saving yourself and teaching the way of salvation to those around you. In prayer, when taking the tonsure, it is said about the light of Christ, so that those who have dedicated their lives to Christ shine like lamps, illuminating everything around them. I wish you physical and spiritual health, strength, so that the Lord and your heavenly patroness will keep you, helping you on the path of life. I see it as a craft. Just as Princess Olga brought holy Orthodoxy to Russia, so you, Mother, taking vows, the feat of the first our nun in the Philippines, will bring Orthodoxy to everyone you meet on the path of life. And you are already fulfilling this obedience. May the Lord help you. Through the prayers of your heavenly patroness, the equal-to-the-Apostles Princess Olga, may the Lord strengthen you so that all problems with your health will pass by, so that the Lord will heal you for many years of service to Him.”
***Richel (Maria) Buniel, was born on October 14, 1977 in Kidapawan, Philippines. Since childhood, she dreamed of dedicating her life to God. Richel grew up in a family far from religion, but she attended services in a Protestant church. Richel Buniel received the Orthodox sacrament of baptism in 2015 with the name Catherine. With the blessing of the Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Sergius of Singapore and Southeast Asia, she underwent obedience at St. Nicholas Convent in Ukraine, where she took monastic vows with the name Maria, in honor of St. Mary of Radonezh.