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MOSCOW, January 14 (Itar-Tass) - More than 400,000 people visited Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral to worship the Gifts of the Magi, a Christian relic brought to Russia from Mount Athos in Greece, a top Moscow official said Tuesday.
According to the Gospel according Matthew, Biblical Magi, or Wise Men, were led by the Star of Bethlehem to the place where the baby Jesus was born. They brought Christ gold, frankincense and myrrh and worshipped him.
The Gifts, which are out of Greece for the first time since the 15th century, were displayed in Moscow on January 7-13. They are on their way to St. Petersburg, where they will be open for visitors until January 17.
Yury Nuzhdin, a deputy head of the Russian capital’s department for interregional cooperation, national policy and ties with religious organizations, said the city authorities managed to make visits to the relic comfortable for pilgrims: in particular, they provided 93 buses for believers to have rest and get warm, as well as a number of field kitchens.
Each day, 300 police officers and Interior Ministry troops ensured order around the cathedral. Psychologists and social center workers were employed to help pilgrims. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin thanked municipal services for their effort.
The event was covered by over 160 media that put out over 3,200 news stories, Nuzhdin's department said.