Spanish Parish Left Constantinople for Russian Church, Consecrated New Church Building

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

An Orthodox church in one of the largest cities in Spain was consecrated just in time for Holy Week and Pascha.

On April 24, the feast of Lazarus Saturday, His Eminence Archbishop Nestor of Madrid and Lisbon celebrated the Minor Consecration of the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky in Zaragoza, reports the Diocese of Spain and Portugal.

The parish previously belonged to the Patriarch of Constantinople but was received into the Russian Church after the break in communion caused by Constantinople’s invasion of Ukrainian Church territory in 2018.

Thanks to the efforts of the rector and parishioners, the premises were recently purchased and repurposed for liturgical services.

The consecration of the church marks the beginning of the diocesan events dedicated to the 800th anniversary of the birth of St. Alexander Nevsky being celebrated this year.

Abp. Nestor was concelebrated by parish rector Fr. Emilio Alejandro Lobera and other clergy from the diocese. The service was sung by the choir from the Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene in Madrid.

After the Prayer Behind the Ambon, Abp. Nestor addressed the rector and parishioners with a welcoming speech, and also presented an icon of St. George the Victorious as a gift to the church.

Zaragoza is the capital of the autonomous region of Aragon and one of the oldest pilgrimage destinations in Spain, as it is believed that St. James the Greater himself built a chapel dedicated to the Theotokos after she appeared to him in Spain while still alive in Jerusalem in 40 AD.

The city is also the home to at least one other Orthodox church. In October 2018, the glorification of the ancient saints of the Iberian Peninsula was celebrated at the Romanian Orthodox Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

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