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BARI, May 21. /TASS/. The ark with a fragment of the relics of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, one of the most revered figures in Russia, has been passed over to the Russian Orthodox Church and moved out of the Basilica in the Italian city of Bari where the Saint’s bone fragments have been kept for almost 930 years.
The ark is placed upon a special open car and the procession with a part of the relics of Saint Nicholas will pass through the entire city before the bone fragments are flown on a chartered plane to Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.
For the first time in almost thousand years, Orthodox believers in Russia will be able to venerate one of the most important Saints without leaving their country.
After the ceremony of signing documents on the permission to lend part of the Saint’s relics to Russia, the ark made by Russian jewelers on special order will be moved out of the Basilica by priests to the square near it.
Hundreds of people, both pilgrims and clergymen from Russia, and also residents of the city of Bari, for whom Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is a patron, have gathered to see off the procession.
The arc is made of noble metals and covered with a protection glass through which Orthodox Church believers in Russia will be able to see the relic.
Upon its arrival in Moscow, the arc will be moved to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow where the relic of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker will be on show through July 12.
From July 13 to July 28, the Saint’s relic will be on display in St. Petersburg.