Press Conference Held on the Visit of the Holy Relics of SS Elizaveta
and Varvara to Russia
The Fund of St Andrew the First-called will soon publish a documentary
on the visit to Russia of the holy relics of Holy New Martyrs Grand
Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna and Nun Varvara, as reported by the
Fund's President, Alexander Melnik, during a press conference held
on February 24 in Moscow.
During the last seven months, an unprecedented procession of the
cross traveled through 61 dioceses both in Russia and the countries
of the CIS.
has not been forgotten; in the hearts of the Russian people, she
lives on. While the entire world is moving further from Christ,
these New Martyrs are saving the Russian land from this," said
Bishop Michael of Boston, who escorted the relics throughout the
Bishop Alexander of Dmitrovsk, Vicar of the His Holiness the Patriarch
of Moscow and All-Russia Alexy, expressed the opinion that "the
visit of the relics has done more [for the two parts of the Russian
Church—ed.] than any negotiations."
The large reliquary with the right hand of St Elizaveta will return
to Jerusalem on February 28, whence it embarked in June of last
year to Russia, and then will be taken to the Cathedral of Our Lady
of the Sign in New York.
A smaller reliquary containing the relics of the saints will be
given to Marfo-Mariinsky Convent in Moscow when the monastery is
completely restored. "This reliquary itself is a holy item,"
remarked Bishop Michael. "The reliquary is made of the boards
from the coffins in which the honorable relics of the saints were
transported from Bolshevist Russia through China and Egypt to the
Holy Land. The reliquary holds not only the relics of the holy women,
but also earth from Darmstadt, where Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna
was born, soil from Gethsemane, where SS Elizaveta and Varvara were
interred since 1921, and soil from Alapaevsk, where they were crowned
with martyrdom. In addition, the reliquary is adorned with a medallion
given to the Grand Duchess by Emperor Nicholas II on the day of
her conversion to Orthodoxy."
The large and small reliquaries will be held at Christ the Savior
Church, where a midnight service will be held on the last day of
their visit, concluding in a Divine Liturgy, during which many clergymen
and laity will partake of the Holy Gifts.