Bells rang that could be heard far beyond the surroundings early in the morning over Sergiev Posad. Thus began the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the birth of St. Sergius of Radonezh, one of the most important saints of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Orthodox Christians have celebrated a truly great holiday for three days – 16th, 17th and 18th of July. The main event was a procession to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, where the relics of the saint are.
The procession of many thousands was headed by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and went from Hotkovo to Sergiev Posad at noon on the first day, during which time they had to overcome 15 kilometers.
Despite the July heat, many pilgrims decided to go this way with their whole family.
The festive procession was attended by 60 bishops, more than 400 priests, monks, a delegation from the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, Cossacks and tens of thousands of pilgrims from different regions of Russia. It is a historical religious procession - one the saint Sergius of Radonezh has taken in the same way. The main shrines of the procession are the icon with the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh and the icon with the relics of St. Cyril and Mary, the parents of St. Sergius.
"This event is indeed unique. Faith inspires and unites the people, gives strength in difficult times. Faith is important at all times, but today when we are seeing more and more truly inhuman events, our society, our country in particular need of spiritual support.
Diamond Holding traditionally participates in charity events. And of course, if it is possible, you need to use it for good purposes. So I just could not stay away, and decided to bring 20 000 liters of water PEARL OF ELBRUS water from our company of water to a tent city of pilgrims "" . I hope we were able to brighten up a little the living conditions of religious people on the days of this saint holiday "- said Zaur Balagov, the president of Diamond Holding.
This event is unprecedented in its scale and was attended by more than 170 thousand faithful, more than 1,000 accredited journalists and 1,300 volunteers working on these days in the monastery. A camp, where the pilgrims spent three days in worship and prayer, was organized at the field of Blagoveshchensk.
The President of Russia addressed to the pilgrims:
"Today, our country celebrates the 700th anniversary of St. Sergius of Radonezh. A truly seminal role belongs to him in the history of our country – as an educator and patron of Russia. His wise and solid word became the spiritual support in a difficult period of foreign invasion and internal disorder. It was he who said: "We shall be saved with love and unity". And this call presented as the unification of Russian lands, entered in our historical memory forever. In this unity, truth and justice is the power of Russia, its great past, present and future! Compliments!" - said Vladimir Putin addressing to the thousands of pilgrims and tourists gathered in the square.