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SEMYONOVSKOYE VILLAGE, the Mozhaisk district, September 8 (Itar-Tass) — More than 3,000 people attended a liturgy at the Spasso-Borodinsky Convent on Saturday to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino, the key battle of the 1812 Patriotic War against Napoleon. The service was led by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.
A120, 000-strong army of Russian military leader Mikhail Kutuzov and the 136,000-strong army of Napoleon clashed on Borodino battlefield on September 8 (New Style). According to the latest figures provided by historians, the French army lost 30,000 soldiers and officers; the death toll in the Russian army was more than 50,000 people, including those who died of wounds. Twenty-three generals of Kutuzov’s army were among the dead.
The Day of the Battle of Borodino is revered in Russia as a Day of Military Glory.
Patriarch Kirill prayed for the souls of Emperor Alexander I and all the leaders and warriors who gave their lives for their fellow-creatures and the Motherland on the battlefield.
After that, a prayer attended by thousands of people was held in front of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God at the Spasso-Borodinsky Convent. Russian warriors, including Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, prayed in front of that icon in 1812.
It’s the second time that the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God was taken to Borodino for the celebrations from Smolensk. The first time was in 1912 when Russia celebrated the 100th anniversary of victory in the 1812 Patriotic War. In 1912, the festivities were attended by the Russian Imperial Family.
On Sunday, the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God will be put on view at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which was built as a monument to Victory in the 1812 Patriotic War. A liturgy will be held there on Sunday.
The people who gathered in front the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God on Saturday prayed for the participants in the 1812 Patriotic War. Patriarch Kirill noted that Field Marshal Kutuzov and all Russian warriors prayed in front of that icon.
“Today, we also prayed in front of it. Let the Queen of Heaven defend our country and our people, making us stronger on the way to salvation,” Patriarch Kirill said. He called on the parishioners to remember both those who died defending the Fatherland and those who stayed alive but saved the country from a terrible aggression that threatened the basics of existence of the Russian people.