Semion, Ryazan Province, Russia, October 19, 2023
In the Ryazan Province (120 miles southeast of Moscow), a 12th-century bas-relief depicting Christ the Savior was discovered earlier this month.
The carving originally belonged to the pre-Mongol Church of the Great Martyr Paraskeva in the village of Tolpino, “which was ruthlessly dealt with by the atheistic authorities,” writes the Ryazan Diocese.
After the destruction of the church, parts of the walls, including those with carved images of the Lord, the Theotokos, and the saints, were used to construct a farm stable and garage in nearby Semion.
Work has been underway since 2007 to correct such grievous mistakes. The walls of the stable were dismantled and a chapel was built in Semion.
The bas-reliefs were known from descriptions of the church. In 2010, when the garage still existed, parts of the images of St. John the Baptist and two Archangels were found. The garage was then dismantled last year, opening the possibility of examining the foundation.
Thus, on October 1, volunteers from the Ryazan Diocese and other local groups took part in a search for more stone carvings, “and immediately at the beginning of the work they found a bas-relief depicting the Lord Jesus Christ,” the diocese reports.
It’s approximate dating is the 12th century. Fragments of white stone carvings were also found.
All the finds will be transferred to the diocesan museum.