250,000 faithful, led by the Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev, took part today in the solemn procession honoring the 1,030th anniversary of the baptism of Russia. The pilgrims walked through the central streets of the Ukrainian capital to reach the Lavra of the Kiev Caves. The procession began after a Thanksgiving service celebrated by all hierarchs and priests on “Vladimir Hill”, in front of the monument to the holy prince.
At the head of the procession, with traditional crosses and banners, were eight miraculous icons and holy relics connected with the holy prince Vladimir, equal of the apostles, and with the history of Christianity in the Ukraine:
- the icon and box containing the relics of the Baptist of Russia,
- the myrrh-streaming head of the hieromartyr Clement of Rome,
- the footprint of the apostle Andrew,
- his icon with fragments of his relics,
- the Zimnenskaya icon of the Mother of God,
- the icon with fragments of the relics of the hieromartyr Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky, +1918),
- the box with relics of the great martyr George, Victory-Bearer,
- the icon with fragments of the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov.
Among the pilgrims were Sisters of charity, monks and nuns, hierarchs and clerics of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, delegates from the local Orthodox Churches, many representatives of the dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, pilgrims from abroad, Kiev residents and guests of the capital city.
The procession stopped in front of the cross on Hrushevsky Street for a short requiem service. The primate, the clergy, and the people prayed for the repose of the souls of the victims of the Ukrainian Revolution on Maidan Square in 2014.
Due to the huge number of participants, the procession extended over two miles and lasted for more than three hours. “According to our calculations, 250,000 people took part in the procession. That’s more than last year. Despite the wide streets of Kiev, they could not contain all the people. All felt the warm common prayer,” said the chancellor of the Kiev Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, after the procession.
The Vigil service started at 5 pm at the Lavra. The Divine Liturgy celebrated in memory of the holy prince Vladimir, equal of the apostles, will take place on the morning of July 28th.
The procession can be viewed here below (with comments in Russian and Ukrainian).
It is worth mentioning that this procession gathered a very large number of participants, despite all the measures taken by the Ukrainian government to prevent their coming to Kiev.
Source (with picture)