Prepared for OCP News Service
Belorussian Orthodox Church – 25/7/14
Last Sunday several thousands of Minsk Orthodox Christians attended the ceremony of bringing to the Holy Spirit cathedral the icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh with the particle of his Holy Relics. The bringing of the icon along with the special divine services in Belarusian churches became the elements of the celebrations in honor of the 700th anniversary of the birth of St. Sergius of Radonezh. The ceremony of the greeting of the revered icon was lead by the Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus.
The relic will be kept in the main Minsk cathedral till the 25th of July. The icon will be available for veneration from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except the last day when it will be available till 2.30 p.m. Then the shrine will be brought to other Belarusian cities – Vitebsk and Polotsk.
St. Sergius is famous for having performed a lot of miracles. But the main miracle of his life is that by derogating himself and by serving his brethren in all the possible ways he became the great saint, the so-called abbot of Russia.
The archpriest Sergiy Lepin, the spokesman of the Minsk eparchy, explains: “Sergius of Radonezh is an amazing saint. Probably every person once faced such problems as unjustice, evil, hypocrisy, lie or falseness and reacted by saying to himself that he is a shrimp and he can’t do anything in the world. But, by saying this, one gives up, steps aside and stops his struggling. Through the example of the life of Sergius of Radonezh we can see how God’s strength can be made perfect in weakness: the person who had no treasure from the point of view of the prospects and the values of this world left its vanity, settled in a forest and step by step people started visiting him and the monastery appeared. After that the monastery got the rank of a lavra which is now surrounded by a town”.