Moscow, May 5, 2017
A reliquary with the right hand of the holy New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna arrived in St. Petersburg today. The reliquary, which also contains relics of the holy New Martyr Nun Barbara, was brought from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York by chairman of the ROCOR Synodal Youth Department Archpriest Andrei Sommer, reports the site of the St. Petersburg Diocese.
The relics are visiting Russia by the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), first hierarch of ROCOR, and Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga.
The reliquary was greeted at the airport by Bishop Nazary of Kronstadt and clergy of the St. Petersburg Diocese and then taken to the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg. A moleben was celebrated before the relics in the lavra’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, after which all gathered had the opportunity to venerate the relics.
“One hundred years ago in our glorious city the revolution began,” said Bishop Nazary. “Many people still welcome it as an achievement, and this means that atonement has not yet arrived in our society. I’m more inclined to call this event the great disaster that befell not only Russia within its present limits, but the whole territory of the Russian Empire,” he stressed. “This revolution marked the beginning of the division. The only positive value of these events is that the patriarchate was restored in Russia.”
The archbishop called upon all present to contemplate the sad event of a century ago, and to pray to God and the martyrs to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.
The full relics of Sts. Elizabeth and Barbara are housed in the St. Mary Magdalene Monastery in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. St. Elizabeth’s relics were taken from Alapaevsk, Russia through Shanghai to Jerusalem, where she desired to be buried, in 1918. Her right hand was transferred to the United States after her 1981 canonization by ROCOR.
The sacred relics will remain at the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra from May 5 to 9, and at the Cathedral of the Feodorovskaya Icon of the Mother of God in memory of the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov from May 9 to 11.