RUSSIA: August 11, 2004

Bishop Michael of Boston Reports on the Travels of the Relics of SS Elizaveta and Varvara in Russia

His Grace Bishop Michael reports that over 100,000 Muscovites venerated the holy relics of SS Elizaveta Feodorovna and Varvara. The entire process connected with the transport of the relics, their presentation, the processions of the cross and moleben services have met with no difficulties, and the cooperation of the Moscow Patriarchate and the St. Andrei the First-called Foundation has been absolutely of one mind and amicable. The delegation accompanying the relics has now traveled to the most remote corners of Siberia and the Far East. On the way to Yakutia, the relics stopped in Igarka, inside the Arctic Circle, where the local priest venerated the relics along with his parishioners. Later, in Yakutia, there was an magnificent official greeting of the relics, with over 5,000 people (Russians and others) venerating them.

On August 7, the relics visited the easternmost point of Siberia, Anadyr, Chukotka, where over 2,000 people out of a general population of 8,000 venerated them. The transformed city met the reliquary with an unprecedented elation.

The relics arrived in Magadan, Kolyma, on August 8, where the delegation both grieved over the sorrows of years past and also rejoiced that thousands of local residents saw the hand of St. Elizaveta. The relics were taken to prisons, hospitals and outlying churches. The local governor greeted the relics in the cathedral and that evening hosted a reception to honor the delegation accompanying the relics, which on Monday departed for Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka.

His Grace Bishop Michael expressed his being filled with spiritual joy from all the visits and events and from his contact with the bishops, clergy and faithful, who everywhere greet the saints, who visit them through their holy relics.

Bishops Alexander of Dmitrov (ROC MP) and Michael of Boston with the relics of St. Elizaveta Feodorovna.