Russian Orthodox Christians celebrate the feast of all saints

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Goneeverything in fotobanka of Christ’s Resurrection and new Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church. Archival photoRussian Orthodox Christians celebrate the feast of all saints© RIA Novosti / Sergey Goneeverything the image Bank

The Russian Orthodox Church on Sunday celebrates the feast of all Russian saints, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill on this day will celebrate the divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

The exact name of the holiday, which is celebrated on the second Sunday after Pentecost, «the Sunday of all saints resplendent in the Russian land». This celebration was established in 50-e years of the XVI century by Metropolitan Macarius of Moscow, at the Synodal (post-Petrine) the era was forgotten in 1918, restored, and since 1946 it was officially made the second Sunday after Pentecost (Trinity).

As the head of the Department for external Church relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the «Russian land» refers to not only the current territory of the Russian Federation, but also the whole historical Rus, which «and its political boundaries at certain times was significantly different from present-day Russia, and its spiritual unity continues to be a very special spiritual space that brings together people living in different cities, in different countries».

«When we talk about the saints of the Russian land, we are referring to the saints of ancient Rus’ — of the saints of God, who shone forth in Russia, a great multitude of saints that honors the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, an integral part of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the saints who shone in the Belarusian, Moldovan land, in the Baltic States, Central Asia, China and Japan — everywhere the Russian Orthodox Church were carrying their service,» said Metropolitan Hilarion in his sermon on the feast of All saints.

According to him, the Russian land has always been rich in saints, but a kind of blossoming of Russian Holiness came in the XIX and especially XX-th century.

In the XIX century lived such well-known throughout the Orthodox world Holy, as St. Philaret of Moscow, St. Seraphim of Sarov, the Optina elders, the saints Theophan the recluse and Ignatius Bryanchaninov, the righteous John of Kronstadt. Next, XX century, marked by the feat of new martyrs and Confessors of Russia, who, according to Metropolitan Hilarion, «in a special way spiritually strengthened our Holy Russian Orthodox Church.»

If before the revolution, in the calendar of the Russian Church was about 450 names, today — more than 2,5 thousand, and basically it is the new martyrs, canonized in recent times. The bishops ‘ Council of 2000 included in their number from about 1 thousand names.

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