The ark with a part of relics of St. Nicholas were taken from the Basilica of Bari

© RIA Novosti / Anton Skribanovich with relics of St. Nicholas in the chancel of the Basilica of St. Nicholas in BariThe ark with a part of relics of St. Nicholas were taken from the Basilica of Bari© RIA Novosti / Anton Skripunov

The ark with a part of relics of St. Nicholas — the most revered Saint in Russia, is handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church and moved from the Basilica of the Italian city of Bari where his relics are located almost 930 years.

The ark is placed on a special open car, a solemn procession will proceed through the city.

After the signing ceremony of documents on a temporary transfer of part of the relics of Russian ark, made by Russian jewelers for special order, was put in the hands of the clergy of the Basilica of St. Nicholas in the area around the temple.

To Shrine gathered hundreds of people — pilgrims and clergy from Russia, the people of Bari, for which Nicholas is the patron Saint.

The cortege, accompanied by the head of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk and Archbishop of Bari, Francesco’s Cacucci went to the airport for the flight to Moscow.

Made of noble metal ark is covered protected by glass, through which believers in Russia will be able to see the relic. Almost a thousand years before, the relic was kept hidden from human eyes, immured in a tomb of the lower Church of the Basilica, under a marble slab weighing over 30 tons.

Upon arrival in Moscow, the ark will be immediately transported to the Church of Christ the Savior, to the beginning of the festive Vespers on the eve of day of memory of Saint Nicholas, celebrated by Orthodox Christians on may 22. To service the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.

The agreement on the bringing of the relics of Italy were reached at the historic meeting of Patriarch Kirill with Pope Francis February 12, 2016.

Until 12 July the relics will be placed in the Temple of Christ the Savior, and from 13 July to 28 July the relics will be in St Petersburg.

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