Relics of St. Anthony the Roman discovered and identified in Veliky Novgorod

Veliky Novgorod, February 28, 2016


The relics of Venerable Anthony the Roman who lived about 900 years ago have been found and identified in Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, reported a source at the Novgorod State Nature Reserve to Interfax-Religion.

“The saint’s miracle-working relics in the precious shrine were kept at the Nativity Cathedral of St. Anthony’s Monastery until the Revolution. During the Soviet anti-religious campaign in 1927 the shrine was opened and the relics moved to the anti-religious museum which was located at the St. Sophia's (the Holy Wisdom) Cathedral of the Veliky Novgorod Kremlin. There St. Anthony’s relics were considered lost among other objects,” the agency’s spokesman related.

The complex examination of the relics kept at St. Sophia’s Cathedral began about 20 years ago. Denis Pezhemsky, a scientist from Moscow and Candidate of the Biological Sciences, worked with the remains believed to be the holy relics of St. Anthony.

“We have managed to single out St. Anthony’s relics from among the set of remains. Now the historical and anthropological examination is over. The relics of St. Anthony the Roman have been handed over to Metropolitan Lev of Novgorod and Staraya Russa,” D. Pezhemsky noted.

The Metropolis of Novgorod will decide the fate of the relics. Interfax has no comments from the metropolis as yet.

According to tradition, St. Anthony (c.1067-1147, feast: August 3/16), a Roman citizen, miraculously sailed on a stone from Rome to Veliky Novgorod by the river Volkhov in 1106 (his stone still exists). In the same year St. Anthony founded Nativity Monastery in Veliky Novgorod. Afterwards the monastery was named after its founder: St. Anthony’s (or “Antoniev”) Monastery. Now it is one of the oldest surviving monasteries in Russia.

According to the chronicles, the solemn uncovering of the relics of St. Anthony the Roman and his canonization took place in 1597. His relics were considered lost for around 80 years.


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