Moscow, March 12, 2018
St. Matrona of Moscow, the “eighth pillar of Russia,” is one of the most beloved saints of the Russian Orthodox Church. Hundreds and thousands flock to Holy Protection Monastery in Moscow daily to venerate her holy relics and seek her intercessions.
A great day in the life of the Russian Church, the uncovering of St. Matrona’s holy relics, after which they were moved from Danilovsky Cemetery to Holy Protection Monastery, which occurred 20 years ago, was festively celebrated on Thursday. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Presanctified Liturgy at the monastery for the occasion, reports the monastery’s website.
The feast of the uncovering of the relics of St. Matrona was established by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2013.
His Holiness was concelebrated by several other hierarchs, as well as clergy from around Moscow, including Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, the newly-appointed rector of the Orthodox Church in America’s representation church in Moscow. The service was also attended by several local politicians and public figures.
Following the service, Abbess Theophania (Miskina) formally greeted His Holiness and presented him with an icon of St. Matrona. The abbess, in turn, was awarded the jubilee medal “In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church” and a pectoral cross in honor of her twenty years of service in the monastery.
The faithful at the service were all given icons of St. Matrona with the patriarch’s blessing.
His Holiness then celebrated a glorification to St. Matrona and prayed at her holy, wonderworking relics, after which he greeted all with the joy of the feast and offered a primatial homily, emphasizing that her holiness came precisely through her life of suffering, which placed her in the path of the Lord’s own suffering.
“The Life of St. Matrona of Moscow has a lot to teach us. We must learn to correctly accept sorrows. Sorrow should not destroy us, it should not overpower us—it should only strengthen our faith and increase our religious sentiment… May we remember St. Matrona of Moscow every time the Lord leads us through difficulties… and may God grant that her example would help us turn sorrow into spiritual strength and inner joy,” the patriarch said.
“Through her prayers, may the Lord preserve the Russian land and all who turn to her holy name with faith, hope, and love,” Pat. Kirill concluded.