Despite the cold weather, tens of thousands of people have gathered at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow since January 7th to venerate the relics of the Holy Gifts of the Magi, which came from the Monastery of Saint Paul on Mount Athos to Russia for the first time in history.
According to Russian officials, we have the following numbers as of 11:00 AM on Friday, January 10th:
- Approximately 130,000 faithful venerated the Holy Gifts since January 7th, and at that specific time there were 25,000 people in queue.
- 280 believers suffering from chronic diseases venerated while asking solace for their illness.
- Despite the long waits and the cold, there has been no unpleasant episode take place, and order has been maintained by 1,050 police officers and 60 volunteers.
- 53 buses have been allocated for "warmth and relaxation".
- Groups of medical and social services are ready to intervene if necessary.
- Cups of hot tea are only sold for 15 rubles, while those in the army can drink tea for free.
The relics will remain in the Cathedral until January 13th, and it is open to believers from 8am to 10pm. After a tour through Russia the relics will return to Greece on January 30th.