Tens of thousands of believers marched today through the city’s central streets. St. Petersburg marked 290 years since the hallows of saint prince Alexander Nevskiy were relocated. Today the main 15th bell of the Lavra named after the legendary warlord was sanctified. Mariya Tikhonova joined the procession.
Hundreds of believers came today to the Lavra named after Alexander Nevskiy to bow down to his hallows. It was here that 290 ago the relic was moved to from Vladimir – upon a decree of Peter the Great, founder of the northern capital. Since then, Alexander Nevskiy has been considered as the city’s heavenly protector. Residents turn to him in their hard times. Today most of the believers prayed for peace in Ukraine.
Believer: “To pray, to ask that everything would be ok. Everyone’s suffering now – Russia, Ukraine, Malorossiya”.
Believer: “We want to pray and to ask him and the mother of God so that there will be peace and we’ll be allright with Ukraine”.
Believer: “To pray for peace here and in Ukraine. So that we become brothers and friends again”.
After a holiday liturgy, headed by the metropolitan of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga Varsonofiy, the 15th in numeration but the 1st in meaning voice of the Lavra – the 18-ton bell named after Alexander Nevskiy – was sanctified by the Svyato-Troitskiy cathedral. The bell was brought to St. Petersburg from the Urals and will toll at the end of October. Today the march was accompanied by the tolling of 14 bells.
Mariya Tikhonova, reporter: “At the times of the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, the day marking the relocation of saint prince Alexander Nevskiy’s hallows was turned from merely a religious holiday into a city-wide one. Since then – up until the beginning of the Soviet era – September 12th had been a day-off, so that everyone could take part in the march. And today – looking at the large number of believers flocking to the Alexander Nevskiy Square its hard to believe that it’s a week day in St. Petersburg”.
The several kilometer walk from the Kazansky Cathedral to the Alexander Nevskiy Square was not a difficult task for many. They said they walked with God’s help.
Varsonofiy, the metropolitan of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga: “Having completed the sacred procession and received the blessing of God, lets get on with the personal walk towards creation of God’s truth. And on this path of salvation shall we bring light of righteousness throughout our living”.
The city-wide procession was attended by officials. The city’s head congratulated everyone at the Alexander Nevskiy Square .
Georgiy Poltavchenko, acting governor of St. Petersburg: “Today people of several generations of St. Petersburg’s residents and guests marched through the Nevskiy. It says that the memory of our ancestors’ glorious deeds, our spiritual traditions, the memory of the truth brought by the saint Alexander Nevskiy – those are well alive in our people” .
All in all, 90 thousand people took part in the festivities. The tradition of city-wide march through the Nevskiy avenue – resurrected to mark 300th birthday of the Lavra – this time gathered as many people as in 2013, according to official data.