From 28th November until the 12th December, 2013, England has been blessed to receive a visit of clergymen from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem who brought with them a relic of the Precious and Life-giving Cross, embedded within an icon depicting Saint Constantine and Saint Helena. Taken to many Orthodox churches across the land, with the blessing of Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, the holy relic was brought to the London Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and Holy Royal Martyrs in Chiswick on Monday, 2nd December. Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh brought the holy relic to the Cathedral where Archpriest Vladimir Vilgerts, assisted by Protodeacon Dmitri Nedostupenko, served a moleben in front of the relic of the Precious and Life-giving Cross and an icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs. Guests of honour at the moleben were H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia and H.I.H. the Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia, who were visiting London in order to attend an event connected with the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanov. After the moleben Archbishop Elisey addressed the faithful. Then Fr Vladimir, on behalf of the parish, welcomed the distinguished guests and spoke of the spiritual significance of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanov. This was followed by a gracious address from the Grand Duchess Maria, who then awarded Archpriest Vladimir the Imperial Medal ‘Anniversary of the Nation’s Victory 1613-2013.’ Then the many faithful who, despite it being a working day, had hastened to the Cathedral in order to pray before the relic of the Precious and Life-giving Cross, devoutly venerated the holy relic with great compunction and devout attention, before the icon was taken on the next stage of its progress to other Orthodox parishes in England.
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