I have a funeral in my parish. One of the sisters of the deceased is a nun. I was reminded of this quote from an unnamed monk from the Valaam Monastery I read in Serbian church magazine.
When asked about the importance of monastics and monasteries he said, among other things:
“….How many monasteries did Russia have! And every family, where there were at least nine children, would necessarily dedicate at least one child to God and give them to the monastery, so that the family would have an intercessor before God. This shows the deep spirituality of the people. Everyone knew that a monk would pray for the forgiveness of sins of family members up to the seventh degree.”