On Saturday, officials said that around 65,000 people queued for hours in St Petersburg to see a religious relic brought from Greece, in the latest sign of the Orthodox Church’s influence in post-Soviet Russia. The Cross of St Andrew… said to be a relic of the X-shaped cross on which Apostle St Andrew the First-Called was crucified… was placed in St Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral (Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God) on Thursday after arriving from its historic home in Patras in Greece. A representative of the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called, which helped bring the cross to Russia, told RIA-Novosti that there were some 65,000 visitors in just the first days of its display, and that the numbers are increasing all the time.
The cross came from Greece as part of commemorations of the 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of the mediaeval Slavic state of Rus. The queue to see the relic snaked all around the cathedral with the faithful having to wait for several hours to venerate the relic. Local officials said that the atmosphere in the queue was cheerful. Tatiana Koroliova, 60, told AFP, “It’s a great event for all Orthodox. I came especially to St Petersburg from my house in the country which is 200 kilometres (125 miles) away”. The excitement recalls the frenzy that surrounded the appearance of the Belt of the Virgin Mary in Russia in 2011… also on loan from Greece… which attracted gigantic queues when it arrived in Moscow.
The communists suppressed the Orthodox Church, but it’s staged an astonishing recovery in post-Soviet Russia to become one of the country’s most powerful institutions. Symbolically, the Cross of St Andrew cross is being shown in the Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg, which under Communism was a museum of atheism. However, the anti-Kremlin opposition accused the Orthodox Church under its powerful Patriarch Kirill of meddling in politics and instigating the harsh treatment of the Pussy Riot punk group. Two members of the punk collective are serving two-year prison colony terms for performing an anti-Kremlin song inside a Moscow church, in a case that divided Russian society. The relic is due to stay in St Petersburg until Monday, and then be taken to Kiev in the Ukraine, Minsk in Belarus, and to the Russian capital of Moscow before returning to Greece on 2 August.
13 July 2013
The journey of the Cross of St Andrew is so “newsy” that even the Western press agencies are covering it. Take all Western reportage on the Rodina with a block of salt… much of it is nothing but meretricious and lying pro-crapitalist propaganda (especially, mistrust “Orthodox” lickspittles such as Sophia Kishkovsky and Serge Schmemann… they’ve sold out for the proverbial “mess of pottage“). Look at the inclusion of a blurb on Pussy Riot… most Russians don’t give a shit about these zapadniki poseurs… only a small English-speaking minority in Piter and the Centre do… and the clueless Westerners just eat it all up. However, don’t argue with Amerikantsy idiots about it… it’ll do you no good, it’ll just frustrate you to no good end, and it’ll just drive the Fox News propaganda deeper into your interlocutor’s (shallow) mind. Do mind this, though… the worst, most fanatic, and most closed-minded Amerikantsy are found amongst the “Orthodox” konvertsy… fancy that. Have a care…