18 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/24/2011 11:14
RUSSIA
Sacred Belt of the Virgin arrives in Russia, one of the most venerated relics for orthodox
by Nina Achmatova
The precious relic, leaves Mount Athos for first time and arrives in St. Petersburg for a tour of the country. The promoters of the initiative: "We hope to help our demographic situation."

Moscow (AsiaNews) - One of the most venerated relics of the Orthodox Christian world has arrived in St. Petersburg: the Sacred Belt of the Holy Virgin has left the Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos for the first time for a tour of Russia, which ends in Moscow. This rare 'loan' was granted the "St. Andrew the First called," Foundation led by the head of the State Railways, Vladimir Yakunin. "One of the reasons why we asked Monastery Vatopedi to be able to bring the Sacred Belt to Russia is the demographic situation of our country - Yakunin told the press – We hope this will help stimulate interest in the spiritual revival of our society and family values."

The relic has thus left Greece for the first time, since it was placed in the custody of the monastery on Athos. About 20 monks will accompany him on his journey in the Federation. The father superior of Vatopedi, Archimandrite Yefrem, said that an '"exception" was made for Russia: the monastery had already turned down requests from other country like the United States and Romania. The Sacred Belt will return to Greece on November 23.

Located in the centre of the peninsula of Athos and dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin, the Vatopedi monastery ranks second, after that of the Great Lavra, in the hierarchy of the Athonite monasteries. It has a rich collection of images and relics, including the Sacred belt of the Holy Virgin. The belt was woven from camel hair by Mary herself. The legend tells that, before her Assumption, Mary gave it to the Apostle Thomas. It was later preserved in the Imperial Palace of Constantinople until, in the fourteenth century, a king of Bulgaria seized it. Later, Prince Lazarus of Serbia gave it to Vatopedi.

For years the monks have donated to the faithful small belts modeled on that of the blessed Virgin. They are placed in plastic bags containing prayers and instructions on how to observe fasts. The Orthodox believe that thanks to the intercession of the Virgin these belts help treat female infertility. Since the Sacred Belt is preserved on Mount Athos, where access is permitted only to men, it is a rare opportunity for Russian women to venerate the relic.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/21/2011 RUSSIA
Over 50 thousand faithful in two days for the Holy Belt of the Virgin in Moscow
by Nina Achmatova
11/28/2011 RUSSIA
Putin and Communist leader among two million pilgrims to Virgin's Holy Belt
by Nina Achmatova
10/13/2010 RUSSIA
Appeal to Medvedev against mosque
02/28/2013 RUSSIA - LEBANON
A relic of St Maron given to Moscow's Annunciation Cathedral
by Fady Noun
09/02/2004 RUSSIA
Aleksij II: "United against terrorism, a threat to the world"

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.