Thousands of pilgrims came to Moscow‘s largest cathedral to touch and kiss the Cross of St Andrew, with psychologists recruited to mind the crowd and help keep conflicts to a minimum. A relic of one of the patron saints of Russia, the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called brought the cross from Patras in Greece, to mark the 1025th anniversary of Russia’s baptism. The relic, which drew hundreds of thousands of pilgrims while on display in St Petersburg last week, will be at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour from Friday to 25 July, after which it’ll go to the Ukraine and Belarus. Sergei Tiunov, head of the group of psychologists to tend to the line in Moscow, said that his team would provide help for people who might be in an overexcited emotional state, saying, “Our task is to prevent all force majeure situations in the crowd, to prevent all misunderstandings and conflicts”, adding that his team would help all those lost in the crowd or in a need of a headache pill. This isn’t the first time that Moscow’s biggest cathedral is seeing large flocks of pilgrims. Almost a million believers from all over Russia, as well as other former Soviet states, flocked to the Russian capital amidst freezing temperatures in November 2011 to venerate the Belt of the Mother of God, which Christians believe was worn by Jesus’ mother.
19 July 2013