Spyridon. © en.wikipedia.org
In the past week, hundreds of thousands of Russians have visited the Trinity Cathedral of St. Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow, where the relics of Saint Spyridon are currently on display.
The shrine was for the first time delivered to Moscow in 2007, when more than one million and three hundred thousand Russian believers paid tribute to the relics of a bishop-turned-saint, explained the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. This year, he added, many braved bad weather so as to offer a prayer in front of the relics.
Saint Spyridon is widely venerated for his assistance in healing, settling family conflicts and acquiring Christian love, Patriarch Kirill said. Thousands upon thousands turned to him for help only to see their dreams finally come true, the Patriarch added, praising God’s grace that he says especially emanates from icons and the relics of the Church-revered saints.
A saint honored in both the Eastern and Western traditions, Spyridon was born in Cyprus in 270 and was known for his great piety. He was venerated for the rare gift of clairvoyance and his ability to cure the sick by prayer. He eventually became Bishop of Tremithous and went down in history after he proved the essence of the Trinity at the First Ecumenical Council in 325.
Using a potsherd, he reportedly illustrated how one single entity could be composed of three unique entities, a metaphor for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. As soon as Spyridon finished speaking at the Council, the shard is said to have miraculously burst into flame, water dripped on the ground, and only dust remained in his hand. After the Council, Saint Spyridon returned to his diocese in Tremithous, where he died peacefully in old age. When the Arabs took Cyprus in the middle of the 7th century, Spyridon’s body was disinterred and taken to Constantinople. It was at the time that the relics were found to be incorrupt which prompted many to believe in his being a saint.
The shrine will stay in Moscow till October 6th and is then to be transferred to St.Petersburg. On October 15th, the relics of Saint Spyridon will be delivered to the Greek island of Corfu, where they have been preserved since the late 1980s.