Zvenigorod, Moscow Province, Russia, August 25, 2023
St. Savva of Storozhev Monastery. Photo: orthochristian.com
One of Russia’s oldest and most important monasteries celebrated its 625th anniversary this week.
The celebration coincided with the feast of the Second Finding and Transfer of the Relics of the monastery’s holy founder, St. Savva of Storozhev, a disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh.
The monastery was founded in 1398 at the request of and with the support of Prince Yuri Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. At first, a wooden church was built in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. The monastery was a favorite place of prayer for many Russian tsars, and under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich (17th century), the holy habitation became a suburban royal residence. The monastery was closed in 1919, to be reopened only in 1995. At present, there are about 30 monks laboring at the St. Savva’s.
The liturgical celebration began on Tuesday evening with the traditional procession from the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky in Zvenigorod to the monastery, led by the abbot Archimandrite Pavel and the ordained brethren and clergy from the Zvenigorod Deanery, the monastery reports.
The clergy were joined by numerous pilgrims. The procession stopped at the Ascension Church for the reading of the Holy Gospel. As it approached the monastery, the procession was greeted by the festive ringing of the bells. The prayer march came concluded on the monastery square near the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.
In the evening, the All-Night Vigil was celebrated on the square.
Abp. Theognost celebrating the late Liturgy. Photo: savvastor.ru
Two Liturgies were celebrated the next morning. The early Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon, retired hierarch of Yaroslavl, and the late Liturgy on the cathedral square by His Eminence Metropolitan Theognost of Kashira.
At the end of the Liturgy, Met. Theognost led the singing of the magnification of St. Savva and read out the congratulatory letter of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, in which he recalled the life of St. Savva and the restoration of the ancient monastery after the fall of the Soviet Union.
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