- Title: Thousands throng to bow to St Nicholas relics in Moscow
- Date: 22nd May 2017
- Summary: CATHOLIC PRIEST VARIOUS OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL VARIOUS OF QUEUE WOMEN WAITING TO ADORE RELICS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) BELIEVER, GALINA, SAYING: "Today is a holiday. The relics were brought to Moscow and to Russia for the first time. So everyone is expecting a miracle. We want to address (Saint) Nicholas with requests." (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) BELIEVER, NIKOLAY, SAYING: "I think every Orthodox Christian knows what these relics means for Russia as every Orthodox family have seen and felt help by this great saint and miracle worker. He is the first and the only Patron Saint who helps even non-believers, non-Orthodox people of other faiths. He is a great man, not even a man but a shrine of a Holy Spirit." (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) BELIEVER, NATALIYA, SAYING: "Everyone has an icon of him, everyone whoever you ask. Everyone believes in him strongly. I think that for our country it is very good that the relics were brought for the first time from Bari. Many people cannot go there for example pensioners, it is hard for us. And here we can come and it is very pleasant that our Patriarch Kirill took care of us, Christians this way." CLERGYMAN GIVING BLESSINGS BELIEVERS WALKING TOWARDS CATHEDRAL (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) BISHOP PANTHELEON OF OREKHOVO-ZUYEVO, SAYING: "That means that the Orthodox faith is preserved in Russia and that the image of Nicholas the guardian, meek and humble God's Saint is dear to Russian heart." VARIOUS OF BELIEVERS NEXT TO CATHEDRAL BELIEVERS ENTERING CATHEDRAL PEOPLE BOW TO KISS ARK RELICS SEEN THOUGH GLASS OF ARK VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BOWING TO ADORE RELICS ICON OF SAINT NICHOLAS THE WONDERWORKER CANDLES ICON
- Embargoed: 5th June 2017 15:50
- Keywords: religion Vatican Christ the Savior Cathedral Patriarch Kirill Orthodox church Italy Russia
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0026HX81UH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Thousands of people lined up for hours in Moscow on Monday (May 22) to venerate the relics of Saint Nicholas, believed by Orthodox Christians to have miraculous powers, after his remains were sent to Russia on loan from their permanent home in Italy.
The remains of Saint Nicholas had never previously left the Italian city of Bari in the 930 years since they were brought there. After arriving by plane on Sunday (May 21), they were installed in Moscow's gold-domed Christ the Saviour Cathedral, and put on public display.
The loan was agreed during last year's historic meeting between Russian Patriarch Kirill and Roman Catholic Pope Francis. It was the first time a pontiff and head of the Russian Orthodox church had met since the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity split apart nearly 1,000 years ago.
The line of people queuing to see the relics stretched for several kilometres from the cathedral along the embankment of the Moskva river.
Saint Nicholas, who lived in the fourth century in what is modern-day Turkey, is one of the most revered saints in Russian Orthodoxy. Numerous churches and cathedrals bear his name in Russia, and Nikolai is a popular name in the country.
Russia's Orthodox Church and its clergy suffered bloody purges and it was separated from the state after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
After the Soviet Union's demise in 1991, the church has experienced a revival. Although Russia is still formally a secular nation, state media often show Russian Orthodox priests blessing new nuclear submarines and space rocket launches.
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