METROPOLIATE DISTRICT OF KAZAKHSTAN: January 10, 2012
The relics of St Elizabeth and Nun Barbara come to Kazakhstan
On January 10, 2012, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the relics of Holy Martyrs Elizabeth and Nun Barbara were brought to Kazakhstan.
The reliquary of the Passion-Bearers of Alapaevsk were brought to the Republic of Kazakhstan by His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany. This reliquary was constructed of boards from the coffins in which the honorable relics of the martyrs were transferred from Bolshevik Russia through China and Egypt to the Holy Land.
The reliquary contains not only portions of the saints’ relics, but earth from the city of Darmstadt, where Grand Duchess Elizabeth was born, earth from Gethsemane, where Elizabeth and Barbara were interred since 1921, and earth from Alapaevsk, where they earned their martyric crowns. The reliquary is also adorned with a medallion which was given to Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna (as she is known in Russian) by Emperor Nicholas II on the occasion of her baptism to Orthodoxy.
The arrival of the relics to the dioceses of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan began with a visit to the southern capital, Almaty, where the honorable relics were offered for prayer and veneration at St Sophia Cathedral of Iveron-St Seraphim Convent.
At noon, a moleben with akathist was performed before the relics. The service was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Astanai and Kazakhstan. The head of the Metropoliate District was joined by Archbishop Mark; His Grace Bishop Gennady, Vicar of the Astanai Diocese; Archimandrite Amfilohy (Bondarenko), recently nominated to the Bishop of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semipalatinsk; Protopriest Valery Zakharov, Dean of Almaty; and other deans, parish rectors and clergymen of the diocese.
Before the beginning of the moleben, Metropolitan Alexander addressed the worshipers on the podvig of the two saints. Archbishop Mark conveyed congratulations to the believers of Kazakhstan on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Praying at the services were Abbess Lyubov (Yakushina) of Iveron-St Seraphim Convent along with its nuns, teachers and students of the city’s Sunday schools, the worshipers of the cathedral and of churches in the southern capital.
Throughout the day, clergymen of the Almaty Diocese performed molebens and akathists before the reliquary.
Early in the morning of January 11, the relics will be taken to the city of Uralsk.
The Orthodox Christians of Almaty will have the opportunity to venerate the relics from February 23-27 in Voznesensky Cathedral.