St. Petersburg, September 13, 2018
The holy Orthodox Church celebrated the translation of the relics of St. Alexander Nevsky the Grand Prince of Novgorod yesterday. His relics, housed at the Holy Trinity-St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg, are among the greatest sacred treasures of the Russian Church in St. Petersburg.
To celebrate the city’s great feast, about 110,000 Orthodox faithful gathered in procession along St. Alexander Nevsky Boulevard, the central street in St. Petersburg, reports the site of the St. Petersburg Metropolitanate.
This year’s city-wide festive procession was held under the motto “Faith. Traditions. Unity” with the participation of believers from the Leningrad Province, Moscow, Yaroslavl, Tambov, Novgorod, and Pskov, as well as from Lithuania and Estonia.
A special feature of the procession this year was the presence of the precious right hand of St. Spyridon of Tremithus, which was brought from the Greek island of Corfu to Russia for nearly two months. The procession moved from the Kazan Cathedral to the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with the wonderworking Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and the relics of St. Spyridon at the head.
Last year’s procession was blessed with the Panagia Soumela icon, by tradition painted by the hand of St. Luke the Evangelist.
The entire day’s celebrations began with the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra and at the Kazan Cathedral, to where the relics were brought during the Liturgy from the St. Petersburg Novodevichy Monastery. The procession following the Liturgies was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, with the participation of 7 other hierarchs and a host of clergy and faithful.
A moleben was served to the Heavenly protector of St. Petersburg at his monument outside the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra at noon. The service was headed by Met. Barsanuphius.
“St. Alexander was a man of God’s truth,” His Eminence preached to those gathered. “He well understood that power without truth is weakness, it is an evil that has led and leads to destruction … wars, and international conflicts. He rejected the right of the strong as a means of rising about others… Love and truth, which were embodied in the life of the Grand Prince, drew him near to holiness, and he chose not the temporal, but the eternal, looking beyond the horizon of this earthly path.”
Following the day’s festivities, the reliquary with the right hand of St. Spyridon was returned to Novodevichy Monastery.
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