With the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis of Athens and all Greece, the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called will bring the Cross of St Andrew to the canonical territory of the MP (Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus) from 11 July to 2 August. On Tuesday, Aleksandr Gatilin, the Press Secretary of the Foundation told Interfax-Religion, “The cross on which Apostle [St Andrew the First-Called] was crucified is kept in the Orthodox cathedral in Patras, in the Greek Peloponnese; it’s a major relic of the Christian world. Bringing this cross, this relic, to Russia is part of the celebration of the 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus“. Current plans call for the cross to be in St Petersburg from 11 to 15 July, from 16 to 25 July in Moscow, from 26 to 28 July in Kiev, and from 29 July to 2 August in Minsk.
Gatilin went on to say, “Bringing the Cross of St Andrew to St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, and Minsk is meant to emphasise that we can trace the spiritual life of these three states (государств) back to a single source… the blessing given by the Apostle Andrew to the Baptism of Rus, which was accomplished at the fount in Kiev in 988″. He noted that the name of Apostle St Andrew the First-Called pops up throughout all of Russian history. For example, Tsar Pyotr Veliki established the Order of St Andrew, the first order of chivalry set up in the Russian Empire; it was the highest state award. In 1998, the Order of St Andrew again became the highest state award of the Russian Federation. Since the time of Pyotr Veliki, the Russian naval ensign has borne a light-blue cross of St Andrew on a white field. The tsar personally determined its appearance… “A white Flag, emblazoned with a light-blue cross of St Andrew, to commemorate that Russia took Holy Baptism from this Apostle.”
The Cross of St Andrew will begin its Russian journey in St Petersburg, the “maritime capital of Russia”. The Foundation wishes to stress that they intended this to remind us that since the foundation of the city on the Neva, Apostle St Andrew was one of its patron saints. St Andrew was the brother of Apostle St Peter, after whom the town was named. Some say that Pyotr Veliki himself placed a golden reliquary with a particle of the relics of the Apostle in the cornerstone of the Petropavlovsk Fortress. The arrival of the Cross of St Andrew will coincide with the 310th anniversary of the Russian Navy and of St Petersburg. Gatilin also said, “Then, we’ll bring the cross to Moscow, Kiev and Minsk… the capitals of the three states where most Russian Orthodox believers live, where spiritual and cultural life traditionally draw upon the heritage of Holy Rus“.
The Cross of St Andrew was in Patras until the time of the Roman Catholic onslaught on Greece in the 13th century (Frankokratia). Then, the Franks removed the relic from Achaea and placed it in a monastery in Marseilles, where, afterwards, in about 1250, it went to another monastery in the same city. During the French Revolution of 1789, revolutionaries threw the cross into a fire to destroy it, but a Catholic priest pulled most of it out of the fire, risking his life to do so. Later, the relic resided in an underground crypt of a monastery in Marseille, contained in a large reliquary. Today, the Cross is in the Cathedral of St Andrew in Patras. Apostle St Andrew the First-Called was crucified at Patras head down. There is a belief that the Cross of St Andrew was X-shaped. According to Church tradition, many believers received healing by touching and praying before the Apostolic cross.
2 July 2013
Do note that Mollard‘s going to be in Russia during all of this. This was something that HH NEVER gave Fatso. NEVER. This is a PR Plum of the Highest Order. All of Berzansky’s scheming for his pal “Johnny” (what he and his circle called Fathausen) was for nought… HH saw through him. The Centre is backing Mollard… for now. At present, it’s the only game in town… it’s the pinch of incense that one has to throw on the altar to keep out Dahulich and the Greeks. I prefer Mollard’s bumbling to Dahulich’s scheming… and I do daresay that I’m not alone…
However… is Mollard going to be stupid enough to try to bring Fatso as part of his entourage? It’d explain why so many priests turned him down flat on accompanying him. Mollard’s doltish enough and Lyonyo’s enough of a schemer to try such a stunt. Do watch it, kids… it bids fair to be interesting…