Russia, June 17, 2021
The Russian Orthodox Church is holding numerous events throughout 2021 in honor of the 800th anniversary of the birth of the Right-Believing Prince Alexander Nevsky, who was once voted Russia’s greatest historical figure.
Among the events, several processions with relics of the great saint began on June 12, the day of his birth according to one tradition. The processions will make their way throughout Russia and Belarus in the coming months.
One procession was held in Rostov-on-Don with an icon painted specifically for the event and an ark with a fragment of the relics of St. Alexander given to the local St. Alexander Nevsky Church by the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg, reports the Diocese of Rostov-on-Don.
The procession was attended by Vladimir Gurba, a local representative of the Office of the President, who emphasized that, “Without spirituality, without morality, the state cannot survive. The foundation of our unity is faith. If there is no faith, it is impossible to resist today's challenges.”
His Eminence Metropolitan Merkury of Rostov and Novocherkassk said that, “The image of the holy prince, which will be carried throughout the country in the coming months, is a reminder to our people of the true values of human life, our history and the state, of the value of the holy Orthodox faith, which for centuries united people and gave them the power and strength to defeat the external and internal enemy.”
A moleben was then held before the icon and relics on the cathedral square. The procession now continues in the Southern and Northern Caucasus Federal Districts until August 9.
The same day, another procession began at the St. Alexander Nevsky-Novo-Tikhvin Convent in Ekaterinburg with a moleben in front of relics of St. Alexander Nevsky.
Following the service, His Eminence Metropolitan Evgeny of Ekaterinburg expressed the hope that just as St. Alexander once protected the country during his lifetime, so he will continue to do so today. “The fact that we live in a country today where the values Prince Alexander received from his ancestor, Grand Duke Vladimir, are preserved, is the merit of our Heavenly patron,” he emphasized.
The procession will continue throughout the dioceses of the Ekaterinburg Metropolis until June 26.
Another procession, throughout Central Russia and Belarus, began from the Holy Ascension-St. David Hermitage outside Russia.
The day began with the Divine Liturgy celebrated on the cathedral square by His Eminence Archbishop Aksy, followed by a service in front of a portion of the relics of St. Alexander.