An express train with a special chapel carriage brought a sacred Christian relic from St Petersburg to Moscow, the Cross of St Andrew, upon which Apostle St Andrew the First-Called was crucified. Believers met it at the Kursk Station, including passengers, railway workers, clergy, and Moscow area officials. Sergei Stchebligin, President of the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called, who facilitated the bringing of the relic from Greece to Russia, noted the fact that during its five days in St Petersburg, no less than 200,000 people came to venerate the cross, but there’d been no disorder, there were no conflicts in queue. He said, “Both guards and pilgrims were attentive to each other, they helped the elderly and children, they shared their drinking water”.
Clergy served a molieben right at the train station, after which the reliquary with the relic was taken by automobile to the Cathedral of St George the all-Victorious in Odintsovo in Moscow Oblast. Addressing the assembled believers, Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov of Krutitsy and Kolomna, Patriarchal Vicar of the Diocese of Moscow, said that the choice of the Moscow Oblast cities of Odintsovo and Dmitrov as venues for the Cross of Andrew wasn’t by chance, noting, “The churches there are now restored, Church life is undergoing a revival, and many believers live there, for whom the veneration of the Cross of St Andrew would be a singular joy”.
A Greek delegation, and Aleksandr Gladyshev, the head of Odintsovo Raion of Moscow Oblast, accompanied the cross to its destination. At 11.00 MSK, the cross will arrive in Odintsovo. Believers can venerate the relic today until 22.00 MSK, and tomorrow from 07.00 to 15.00 MSK. Then, the Cross of St Andrew will go to the Cathedral of the Assumption in Dmitrov. On 17 July, at 17.00 MSK, the first molieben will begin, and access to the church will be open until 23.00 MSK. On 18 July, one can visit the Cathedral from 07.00 to 23.00 MSK, and on 19 July, from 07.00 until 12.00 MSK.
From 19 to 26 July, the relic will be at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, from 26 to 28 July in the Kievo-Percherskaya Lavra in Kiev in the Ukraine, and from July 29 to 2 August in the Memorial Church of All Saints and of All Innocent Victims in Our Motherland in Minsk in Belarus. The coming of the Cross of St Andrew Cross from Greece to Russia opened a series of celebrations dedicated to the 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus, which unites three states… Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus.
16 July 2013
Voice of Russia World Service