Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Translation of the Relics of Saint Alexander of Svir in 1641

Translation of the Relics of St. Alexander of Svir (Feast Day - April 17)

Saint Alexander of Svir died on August 30, 1533. His incorrupt relics were translated in 1641 during the reconstruction of the Transfiguration Cathedral.

The incorrupt relics of the Saint were removed from the Svir Monastery by the Bolsheviks on December 20, 1918 after several unsuccessful attempts to confiscate them. There was an infamous campaign to liquidate the relics of the saints which continued from 1919 to 1922. Many relics of Russsian saints were stolen and subjected to “scientific examination” or displayed in antireligious museums. Some were completely destroyed.

Hoping to prove that the relics were fakes, the Soviets conducted many tests. However, the tests only confirmed that the relics were genuine. Finally, the holy relics were sent to Petrograd’s Military Medical Academy. There they remained for nearly eighty years.

A second translation of Saint Alexander’s relics took place in December 1997.

The relics were found to be incorrupt, just as they were when they were confiscated. The Saint’s appearance matched the description in the records from 1641. Once it was determined that these were in fact the relics of Saint Alexander, Metropolitan Vladimir of Saint Petersburg permitted them to be taken to the Church of Saint Sophia and her Three Daughters Faith, Hope, and Love for four months before their return to the Svir Monastery. As people venerated Saint Alexander’s relics they noticed a fragrant myrrh flowing from them.

The holy relics were taken to the Saint Alexander of Svir Monastery in November 1998, and miraculous healings continue to take place before them.


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