Moscow, November 29, Interfax – Rector of the Vatopedi Monastery Archimandrite Yefrem, who accompanied the Belt of the Mother of God from the convent to Russian cities, believes in Russia’s special spiritual mission.
“Russia won’t collapse. On the contrary, it will strengthen and play the leading part in saving Orthodoxy on Earth,” the Bulletin of St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation quoted Father Yefrem as saying.
As was reported, a week after the Belt of the Mother of God departed from Russia, belts blessed on the reliquary with the shrine will be distributed in one of Moscow churches.
Father Yefrem advised to wear them as a usual belt.
“You can wash it, but it’s better not to pour the first water in canalization, but rather to water a tree as the belt is blessed,” he said.
Addressing some Orthodox believers who are expecting the Apocalypses soon, the priest recommended to study “Christ, rather than Antichrist.”
“You know, it’s unhealthy spiritual condition when people talk much of the Antichrist, the end of the world and so on. Some people are too much involved in the topic,” he said.
After visiting St. Petersburg the shrine was taken to other Russian cities. The last point was Moscow. The belt returned to Athos on November 28.
The shrine has left Greece for the first time in the history of its stay in the Vatopedi Monastery.
For many years Vatopedi monks have done small belts, blessed them on the belt of the Mother of God and spread among the believers. As usual they take a bobbin with 300 meters of ribbon, which is blessed on the reliquary with a special prayer. Then the bobbin is handed over to the monks: they divide the fabric for meter and a half belts, twist them and put into plastic bags together with the text telling about the shrine and instructions how to pray and observe fast.
Orthodox believe that thanks to intercession of the Holy Virgin these belts help cure female infertility, bear and give birth to a healthy child. As the belt of the Mother of God is kept on Athos where women are not allowed, Russian women have a rare chance to kneel down before the shrine, pray for granting children, health to relatives and friends and prosperity to Russia.