“A true miracle occurred in the Church of the Nativity of Christ” in the village of Shatovka in the Kursk Province, when a great historical item was uncovered during repairs to the church.
There, in a crevice in the wall 20 feet high behind the iconostasis, a neatly folded document was concealed. When the rector Archpriest Nikolai Rudenko unfolded the paper, “he simply gasped,” reports Fatezhskie Budni.
It was a letter from Tsar Nicholas I, dated 1845.
The letter, now framed under glass, is well preserved, with only slight burning at the edges. The letter was likely hidden during the years of atheist persecution when priests could be shot for praying for the Royal Family, Fr. Nikolai suggests.
In the letter, which was likely distributed to all churches throughout Russia, the Tsar announces the untimely repose of his niece Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna during childbirth and entreats all to pray for the repose of her soul.
“The relic I hold in my hands is almost 200 years old. This is a gift from the Lord to our ancient church,” Fr. Nikolai reflected.
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