Tyrnyauz, February 13, 2014
In June 2013, the journalist and traveler Alexander Voloshchuk, in honor of the 1025th anniversary of Baptism of Russia, began his cross procession with the Mozdok icon of the Mother of God from Tyrnyauz to Tibet and back. Voloshchuk began the procession with blessing of Archbishop Theophylact of Pyatigorsk and Cherkessk.
Alexander’ spiritual life began here. In 2011 he became a member of an expedition to Elbrus, where on the eastern summit, the rector of that Tyrnyauz Church Hieromonk Igor (Vasilyev) served a Liturgy. At this Liturgy on Elbrus, Alexander took his first Holy Communion.
At the completion of his trans-Eurasian procession, on the eve of the feast of the Meeting of the Lord, Alexander returned to Tyrnyauz, completing a journey through Eurasia that lasted for eight months, reports the Blagoslovenny Kavkaz (Blessed Caucasus) newspaper.
"Having left rather cold, but very hospitable Ufa, I reached Samara by train (hitchhiking in -35 degrees Celsius and windy weather would have been unwise),” he writes on the final stage of his travel. “I had never been to Samara before, and that's why I decided to stop in the city for several days—to look at it and learn the Orthodox history of one of Russia’s largest cities.” The pilgrim from the Caucasus took shelter in the Convent of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, which stands in a very beautiful place near the Volga River. Not long ago, the Convent celebrated its 150th anniversary, having preserved the original architecture of both its churches.
Earlier, in Karaganda, I had learned about the miracle of Zoya, which took place in 1956 in Samara (then it was called Kuybyshev). The miraculous appearance of St. Nicolas gained wide popularity in the Orthodox world, and I wished to find the site where Zoya had stood. It was not so difficult to find that old wooden two-story house on 84 Chapayev Street. A Chapel of St. Nicolas the Wonder-worker was built near the house in memory of the miracle.
“Having returned to my favorite mode of travel—hitchhiking, I came from Samara to Atyrau for two days. At the beginning of the present cross procession in this city I was received by Dmitry Rodionov, a very nice Orthodox man, who did many good works for the glory of God. He helped me with accommodation again in this town.”
After Atyrau, he travelled through Astrakhan, Kalmykia, and Stavropolye and reached Tyrnyauz, the city, from which he began his cross procession.