Saransk, Republic of Mordovia, Russia, July 23, 2018
According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Mordovia in Russia, the blessing of bodies of waters where people swim in the summer has helped reduce the number of drowning deaths in the republic.
Orthodox priests in Mordovia began blessing popular swimming sites in the summer of 2017, and most of the large bodies of water in the capital city of Saransk have already been blessed this summer.
The ministry’s site describes that the priests first serve a moleben on the shore, then ride around the body of water on a boat, censing the water, and sprinkling holy water on the beach and lifeguard stands.
“Perhaps it is thanks to these molebens, among other things, that the number of those who have died in bodies of water in Mordovia in 2017 decreased compared to the previous year. In any case, employees of the ministry are ready to cooperate with other state structures and with public and religious organizations in a variety of forms for the sake of saving people’s lives,” the message on the ministry’s site reads.
The blessing of the waters is carried out by agreement between the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the Republic of Mordovia and the dioceses of the Mordovian Metropolitanate.
Other preventative measures are carried out within the agreement between the ministry and the dioceses. For example, state inspection employees hold periodic courses in Sunday school classes on boat safety.
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