Russian Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia's Orthodox Church, drove a holy icon around the streets of Moscow in a procession of cars on Friday. The icon of the Virgin Mary was driven 109 kilometers (68 miles) and was brought to a cathedral in Moscow for a service.
Patriarch Kirill traveled around Moscow today with the miraculous Icon of the Mother of God “of Tenderness” and prayed for salvation.
This icon is revered as miraculous in the Orthodox world.
Previously, it was kept in the cell of St Seraphim of Sarov.
Only once a year, during the fifth week of Great Lent, the icon leaves the patriarchal residence.
But today, this is done under the special circumstances of the pandemic.
The Patriarch urged believers to strengthen their prayers and priests not to interrupt the prayers service, even in the absence of parishioners.
Dmitry Kaystro reports
The Divine Liturgy in front of the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tenderness”- a secret image of St. Seraphim of Sarov - Patriarch Kirill served in the Vladimir Church at his residence.
And this prayer - for getting rid of the infection and healing the sick - was strengthened by millions of other prayers.
These prayers are from believers across the country, whom the patriarch addressed the day before, in those very minutes, they also prayed in the apartments and houses to Holy Mother Of God.
I urge you, that is, all our bishops, clergy, monks and laypeople, to strengthen your prayers to the Lord to protect people from harmful pangs.
Archpastors and pastors will continue to zealously worship and pray.
To help Moscow and Russia at this difficult hour, the icon "Tenderness" was not chosen by chance.
The venerable saint, St Seraphim of Sarov, prayed in reverence in front of the icon.
The patriarchal residence, where it is kept permanently, the icon leaves only once a year for general worship for the feast of the Praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
But the present tour is in every sense special during the days of the epidemic.
Therefore, the icon was also taken for the first time along such a route.
On the tangled lanes of the historical center of the ancient capital, on the multi-lane Kutuzovsky Prospekt, where Poklonnaya Gora is with victorious shrines, and where streets bear the names of the Fatherland heroes.
Here is the patriarchal motorcade on the Moscow Ring Road.
The tradition of processing around the city with holy icons is very old.
It was like this in the XIV century when the bringing of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God saved Moscow from the Mongol hordes of Tamerlane.
It was the same in the XVII century when in a tragic "time of troubles" the Russian icon of the Kazan Mother of God helped Russian people to endure and be victorious.
And in the terrible year of 1941, surrounded by fascists, the plane flew around Moscow, on board which was the icon of the Holy Mother Of God.
The patriarch especially urged believers to pray following the example of St. Mary of Egypt.
She spent 47 years in religious self-isolation in the desert.
Car procession moved through the streets of Moscow.
This is how the procession looked like from a bird's-eye view and this is from an escorting car.
Worshipers met an honored icon at the Epiphany Cathedral.
I wanted to welcome the icon and pray to the Mother of God, see this icon and get blessings.
I want to pray for all of us, for Russia.
The venerated icon was brought to the Epiphany Cathedral and it went around the church to protect the capital from the virus.
The Epiphany Cathedral continues the matins with prayers to the icon "Tenderness."
The service is headed by Patriarch Kirill.
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