1,500-mile procession for 300th anniversary of transfer of relics of St. Alexander Nevsky begins

St. Petersburg, May 30, 2024

Photo: monasterium.ru Photo: monasterium.ru     

The Russian Orthodox Church is festively celebrating the 300th anniversary of the transfer of the relics of St. Alexander Nevsky from Vladimir to St. Petersburg throughout this year.

Celebrations began in December with a moleben at St. Alexander’s relics in the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg and the opening of an exhibition in his honor.

And on Sunday, May 26, a two-week automobile procession began in his honor, headed by His Grace Bishop Benjamin of Kronstadt, abbot of the St. Petersburg Lavra. The procession will pass through the historical sites that his relics passed through in 1724. It lasts until June 20, reports the Synodal Department for Monasteries and Monasticism.

Photo: monasterium.ru Photo: monasterium.ru     

Pilgrims are carrying a revered 17th-century icon of St. Alexander with a particle of his holy relics.

Bp. Benjamin celebrated the Divine Liturgy and a moleben before the start of the procession.

“We’ll visit the historical sites where the procession went through 300 years ago, pray at the holy sites of the Vladimir, Tver, and Novgorod lands, and serve in ancient monasteries. I’m glad that the Lord has vouchsafed me to be involved in such historical events,” said the bishop.

The route covers about 1,500 miles.

In Vladimir, pilgrims visited the Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery, where St. Alexander’s relics were located before being transferred to St. Petersburg, and other holy sites.

The procession will end with a moleben on June 10 on the site of St. John the Forerunner Church where the relics were kept in 1723–1724 before they were delivered to the monastery in St. Petersburg on September 12, 1724.

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