CANNES: September 15, 2011
Archangel Michael Church to Welcome the Relic of the Right Hand of St Spyridon of Trimythous
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the holy relic of the right hand of St Spyridon of Trimythous will be brought to Archangel Michael Russian Orthodox Church in Cannes, France, from September 16-19, 2011.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu, Paxoi, and the Diapontia Islands will head the delegation accompanying the relic. Veneration of the holy relics will be accompanied by continuous Divine Liturgies, molebens and akathists.
The parish rector, Protopriest Michael Boikov, the warden, sisterhood and parishioners of Archangel Michael Church expressed their gratitude to the parish Association’s Benevolent Council, headed by its President, Mr Valery Shevchuk, and all those participating in the organization of this visit for the opportunity to pray before this relic.
St Spyridon lived in the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th centuries on the Isle of Cyprus. Under Emperor Constantine the Great, he was made Bishop of the city of Trimythous on Cyprus. In 325, at the First Ecumenical Council, where the question of the unity of the Divine Essence was discussed, St Spyridon performed a miracle which persuasively interpreted the image of the Holy Trinity. Taking a brick into his right hand, he squeezed it, and as a result, water flowed underneath, flames shot up from the brick and his hand was left with a lump of clay. For this reason he is depicted in icons with a brick in his hand. In pre-Revolutionary Russia, he was venerated on par with St Nicholas.
The relics of St Spyridon have survived intact over the centuries. They maintain the temperature of a living body and the flesh is supple. The reason the right hand was removed is unknown. The phenomenon of the condition of the relics was studied by scientists from around the world, but they found no explanation beyond that of a miracle. The soles of the shoes on the feet of the saint are found to be worn from time to time. There is a legend that the saint wanders the world and helps the suffering. His shoes are thus changed from time to time, and the old ones are distributed to various churches.
St Spyridon, both in his earthly life and after his death, helps to heal the sick, deliver believers from their sorrows, helps overcome financial hardship, resolves problems of housing, complicated legal situations and is considered the protector of businesses. St Spyridon’s speedy help is known to all believers throughout the world who venerate his holy memory.