Russians have their own patron saints to pray to - Patriarch
02/ 08/ 2006
MUROM, August 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russians have their own patron saints to
pray to for happiness in love and marriage, the head of the Russian
Orthodox Church said Wednesday.
In a sermon at the Transfiguration Cathedral in Murom, about 200 miles
southeast of Moscow, Patriarch Alexy II spoke of Orthodox Christian saints
Peter and Fevronia as the patrons to whom Russian married couples should
turn for help and guidance, rather than seeking support from Catholic or
Protestant patron saints.
"It is they we must revere as a role model of marriage, not [the saints]
being imposed on us from the outside, such as St. Valentin," he said, in an
apparent reference to the ever-growing popularity of Valentine's Day in Russia.
Many pilgrims visit the Holy Trinity convent in Murom to venerate the holy
relics of Peter and Fevronia, who lived in the late 12th-early 13th centuries.
As legend has it, Prince Peter married Fevronia, a beekeeper's daughter,
after she cured him of leprosy. They lived a life of love and piety, took
monastic vows together and died on the same day. The Russian Orthodox
Church canonized the couple 300 years later.