Minsk, March 23, 2020
While pious priests in Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere have begun blessing their churches and surrounding streets in processions throughout their cities, His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl took to the skies this weekend to bless the capital of Belarus.
Yesterday, March 22, His Eminence served a moleben in times of devastating plague and the Small Blessing of Waters at the Church of All Saints in Minsk, together with parish clergy. The service was held at the request of the faithful, reports the site of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
The moleben was celebrated before the parish’s Cross-reliquary, in which is embedded a particle of the Lifegiving Tree of the Cross and the relics of several saints, and a venerated copy of the Reigning Icon of the Mother of God.
Met. Pavel offered the faithful a word of edification on the Sunday of the Cross, stressing the theological significance and lifegiving power of the veneration of the Cross of the Lord. Thanks to the sufferings of Christ, the Cross became a symbol of the victory of life over death, His Eminence said.
While the ongoing coronavirus epidemic has plunged many into confusion and even despair, true believers are called upon not to give in to fears, but to place their trust in God and behave responsibly towards their neighbors, the Belarusian primate said. He also wished that the Lord would strengthen the faith of Orthodox believers and help us overcome the present ordeal with dignity.
Following the service, Met. Pavel and the rector of the parish flew around the city of Minsk in a helicopter, making an aerial procession, calling God’s blessing upon the people of Belarus, and blessing the city with the holy Cross-reliquary and the Reigning Icon of the Mother of God.
He also sprinkled the city with holy water, that the Lord might protect the Belarusian land and its pious people from this devastating epidemic.