09/01/2022, 09.21
Send to a friend

The Kremlin carries Our Lady into war

by Vladimir Rozanskij

The "Donskaya" Madonna displayed in Moscow to inspire Russian success in the war in Ukraine. The Orthodox authorities had done the same with Rublev's Trinity. Patriarch Kirill continues with his pro-Putin war rhetoric and further closes the door to dialogue with the West by also refusing to attend the 11th assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the largest ecumenical body meeting in Karlsruhe.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - After having enlisted the Holy Trinity in the army with Andrei Rublev's famous icon, Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has also summoned the Mother of God in the image of another icon snatched from the Tretyakov Gallery.

The 'Donskaya' Madonna is on display from yesterday until 2 September in the large cathedral of the Donskoy monastery, in the centre of Moscow: it will serve for the 'militant' veneration of the Orthodox faithful engaged in the restoration of Holy Russia with the war of liberation of Ukraine, invaded by the 'depraved' West.

The war symbolism is closely related to the similar transfer of the Trinity. Rublev's icon had in fact returned to the Lavra of St. Sergius, where the holy monk of Radonež who had commissioned it for his disciple Andrei is buried, and blessed the armies of Prince Dmitry of Moscow for the battle with the Tatars on the banks of the sacred Don.

The victory of Kulikovo in 1380 is considered the birth date of the Holy Russia of Muscovy, which later proclaimed itself the 'Third Rome'; Dmitry earned the nickname 'Donskoj', hence the title of the great monastery dedicated to him, closed by the Soviets and reopened again in the years of the late Mikhail Gorbačëv,, marking the dawn of the post-communist religious revival. The Donskaya icon is considered miraculous for the numerous miracles obtained through its intercession, but also for the historical-ideological evocation it represents.

If Rublev's Trinity was 'written' (as they say for icons, which are texts of revelation rather than paintings) around 1420, for the origin of the Donskaya Madonna we have only legends, according to which the Don Cossacks brought it as an auspicious gift to Dmitry on the eve of the battle of Kulikovo.

In front of this image, the first Tsar Ivan the Terrible prayed in 1552, before setting off to conquer the Tatar Khanate of Kazan, the ultimate victory over the invaders of the Golden Horde. Ivan then took to battle another icon that became even more famous, Our Lady of Kazan, confirming the active participation of the Mother of God in the successes of the Russian army. This wartime devotion is confirmed in the Church of Victory inaugurated in 2020, where a mosaic depicts Mary assumed into heaven amid Soviet machine guns engaged in driving out the Nazis.

Patriarch Kirill thus chooses to stand even more solemnly on the throne of the Church that fights against the whole world corrupted by the devil, just as the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) opens in Karlsruhe, Germany, the highest ecumenical assembly in which he himself had actively participated several times in past years. Kirill's spiritual-ideological path is emblematic of the drift of Putin's Russia, from dialogue to isolation.

The Council meeting was considered to be Kirill's last opportunity to return to show himself directly to the West and confront himself with the other Christian confessions, after having refused even the opportunity to meet Pope Francis in the 'neutral' land of Kazakhstan. Several voices had proposed in recent months to the executive committee of the ECOC to expel the Moscow Patriarchate from membership, and if this had not happened so far it was also to offer the Russians the opportunity to come and explain themselves in Karlsruhe.

However, a Moscow delegation led by the young Metropolitan Antonij (Sevrjuk), who recently replaced Ilarion (Alfeev), exiled to Hungary, will be present at the Assembly. Kirill was probably also thinking of this opportunity for confrontation, when he decided a few weeks ago to take over a man more faithful to him as a surprise, to prevent Ilarion from yielding to any proposals from Catholics and Protestants: Russia will not yield to anyone today, neither in the Ukraine nor in Germany, because it must save the world from the Antichrist, with the help of Our Lady of the Don(bass).

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
The Greek Orthodox Church recognizes the Ukrainian Church
14/10/2019 09:15
The Greek Orthodox Church stops short on Ukrainian autocephaly. Filaret promises battle
13/06/2019 11:32
Moscow and Kiev celebrate the Baptism of Rus', but separately
31/07/2018 09:59
Bartholomew I marks 29 years on the throne of the Church of Constantinople
03/11/2020 15:02
Bartholomew I: I am also a spiritual father of the Russians
14/12/2018 12:05


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”