Patron saint of nuclear bombers
- 2005.09.26 AFP:
The patron saint of Russian nuclear bombers
Moscow, Russian Federation
26 September 2005 05:47
Historic Russian admiral Fyodor Ushakov -- a hero of Russia's wars against
Turkey and Napoleon Bonaparte -- was designated the patron saint of
nuclear-armed, long-distance Russian bombers by the Orthodox Church on Monday.
Russian Patriarch Alexei II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, carried a
reliquary and an icon of the admiral, who was canonised in 2004, into the
Moscow chapel of the Russian Air Force's 37th Air Army in Moscow, Russia's
RIA Novosti news agency said.
"I am sure he will become your intermediary as you fulfil your responsible
duties to the fatherland in the long-range air force," the patriarch said.
"His strong faith helped Saint Fyodor Ushakov in all his battles," the
religious leader said, reminding his audience that the famous admiral of
the 18th and 19th centuries never lost a battle.
Ushakov distinguished himself in numerous naval battles in the Black Sea
and the Mediterranean, most notably in the Russo-Turkish war between 1787
But his reforms of the navy were not popular in the upper echelons of the
Russian imperial administration and Tsar Alexander I forced Ushakov to
retire to Tambov province south-east of Moscow in 1807, where he died in
1817 aged 73.
Ushakov's canonisation as a saint in 2004 follows a strong tradition in
Russia of close relations between the Orthodox Church and the state, which
was revived after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. -- AFP