Pushkin Square, a few blocks from the Kremlin, is Moscow's most important and prestigious commercial square and intersection, second only to Red Square in fame and significance.
The community of the Moscow Strastnoy (Passion) Monastery held a festive prayer meeting at Pushkin Square on Tuesday, and a procession around the historical territory of the Strastnoy Monastery, destroyed by the atheist Soviets in 1937.
The event was dedicated to the 360th anniversary of the founding of the holy monastery, for the restoration of which Orthodox activists have gathered more than 84,000 signatures, reports the Synodal Department for Monasteries and Monasticism of the Russian Orthodox Church.
A festive moleben was celebrated by the rector of the Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God at Putinki in Moscow and spiritual father of the community of the Strastnoy Monastery Archpriest Alexei Gomonov. During the event, a portable bell tower was placed on the site where the monastery’s bell tower used to stand.
A memorial sign dedicated to the historical monastery was placed on Pushkin Square in the summer of 2012. In 2013, it was proposed to move the monument to Alexander Pushkin on Pushkin Square and to erect a commemorate chapel in honor of the Strastnoy Monastery and the first tsars of the Romanov Dynasty.
The “Old Moscow” Historical Society also appealed to the mayor of Moscow in the summer of 2016 to rebuild the monastery, having gathered more than 120,000 signatures over the course of 13 years.
Now another 80,000 signatures have been gathered. “84,000 citizen signatures have now been gathered for the revival of the ancient convent, including of 2,096 citizens who signed before 1937 against the destruction of the Strastnoy Cathedral,” the monastery community reported.
The signatures will be sent to the Moscow Patriarchate and the Moscow mayor. The community intends to collect 100,000 signatures for the initiative to be considered at the federal level.
The Convent was founded in the 17th century on the very historical site where the miraculous icon of the Mother of God of the Passion (which was brought to the capital from the Nizhny Novgorod region) had been solemnly met. This icon, famous for its healing of the sick, is thus called because two Angels with instruments of Christ's sufferings (passion)—spears and the Cross—are depicted on it next to the Most Holy Theotokos.
When the Napoleon's army hastily left Moscow, it was in this Convent that the first thanksgiving service to the Savior for miraculous deliverance from the invaders was celebrated. Also, according to tradition, the first Church bell resounded from the belltower of the Strastnoi Convent after the enemy had gone away. The central anti-religious museum was opened on the territory of the Convent in 1929, and the buildings of the Convent were demolished in 1937.
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