SEVASTOPL, February 26. /TASS/. A Christian relic, a piece of the True Cross on which the believers say Jesus Christ was crucified would be kept at the Moskva missile cruiser, the Black Sea fleet flagship, archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Sevastopol District Sergiy Khalyuta told TASS.
He explained that the relic is a wood chip only several millimeters long. It is embedded into a 19th century metal cross, which, in turn, is stored in a special reliquary.
"This relic used to belong to a Catholic church, but was acquired by anonymous patrons of arts, and it was their will to send the relic to the [Black Sea] fleet. The Moskva cruiser has an onboard chapel, where services take place," Khalyuta said.
He underscored that such relics are very rare and important for all Christians — both the Catholics and the Orthodox. Russia is in possession of several items with pieces of the True Cross embedded into them; usually, they can be found in large temples. Purchasing such relics has become possible after European churches began to close and sell their property.
The archpriest also disclosed that the relic had already been handed over to Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, the commander of the Black Sea fleet, and is currently at the fleet headquarters. It will be delivered to the Moskva cruiser shortly.
The Moskva cruiser is the lead ship of the Project 1164 Atlant class. It entered service in 1983. Its main armament is 16 P-1000 Vulkan missile launchers. The cruiser has been docked since 2016 for overhaul.