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YEKATERINBURG, December 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Ural Airlines did not allow clergymen of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra to transport as carry-on the St. Sergius of Radonezh icon from Moscow to Yekaterinburg.
“The incident happened on Thursday evening. The clergymen had bought two tickets in business class for themselves and two more for the sacred object, so that not to have the icon transported in the luggage compartment. The airline confirmed it would be possible to transport the icon that way, but a high-ranking passenger of the business class was irritated by the ‘neighbours’, and the clergymen had to leave the plane without any compensations for the tickets.”
The clergymen also told TASS “the flight was delayed as some rich man in the business class was shouting he had to travel next to some ‘box.’ And thus, deputy head of the Ural Airlines said the St. Sergius of Radonezh icon with a part of relics should travel in the luggage compartment.
At night, the icon was delivered to Yekaterinburg.
“At the Koltsovo airport (in Yekaterinburg), the sacred icon was solemnly met by Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye,” head of the Yekaterinburg’s diocese’s press service Anzhelika Bril said. “The icon has crossed half the country, and we are very happy to welcome it in the Urals. It will be staying in Yekaterinburg to December 8.”
She said the story with the icon at the Moscow Domodedovo airport cannot be called an incident.
“It is just a working moment. The icon arrived from Moscow several hours later,” she said. “We are happy, everything worked out fine.”
Press service of the Ural Airlines told TASS on Friday: “Ten days before the flight, the air company said the icon would be transported in the luggage compartment. But the clergymen refused the option and chose not to fly. They will receive the money back if they apply the airline.”
In the long run, the icon travelled to Yekaterinburg on board S7, which observed the request from the clergymen.
Sergius of Radonezh was a leading Russian monk in the fourteenth century who founded the Holy Trinity monastery north of Moscow. He is much revered and has a special place in Russian monasticism and the nation of Russia. An ascetic, he was deeply humble and had a firm faith in God's help. After his glorification the monastery he founded became known as the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra.
His community at Holy Trinity served as a model of secluded ascetic life organized as communities outside the limits of towns and cities. He himself was a model of asceticism. While not a learned man or a great preacher, he was a man committed to poverty and utter sincerity. He was deeply humble and had a staunch faith in God's help. He committed to giving help to all who sought his help with loving attention. He was a true leader who led his monks in work and service by setting an example. He established a number of monastery schools and taught farmers better methods of farming.