Rare Photos and Video of the Return of the Relics of Saint Savvas the Sanctified
13/26 October 1965
The translation of the Holy Relics of Venerable Savvas the Sanctified from the Church of Sant'Antonin, Venice, back to the Holy Lavra of Saint Savvas the Sanctified, was preceded by consultations between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Benedict I of Jerusalem. Saint Savvas' relics had been stolen by the Crusaders of the First Crusade (1096-1099), along with many other relics, and were brought to Venice and placed in the Church of Sant'Antonin. The delegation from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1965 included Archbishop Vasilios of Jordan (later the Metropolitan of Caesarea); Archimandrite Theodosios - Abbot of Bethany; Archimandrite Seraphim Savvaitis - Abbot of the Holy Lavra of Saint Savvas the Sanctified; and Hierodeacon Kyriakos (later the Metropolitan of Nazareth). It is believed the sacred relic was returned due to the mutual lifting of the anathemas on the Mount of Olives in January of 164, but Elder Seraphim Savvaitis († 2003) had written in his memoirs that:
"The Pope did not return the holy relics to us because he loved us, but because Saint Savvas the Sanctified would often appear to him and troubled him to return his relics back to his monastery [i.e. Holy Lavra of Saint Savvas the Sanctified]. When the Pope died without having taken into account the Saint, Saint Savvas appeared again to his successor. Moreover, in the church where his holy relics were kept within a glass reliquary, the Saint would hit the glass, making trouble and upsetting the guards and the Latin monks."
|Metr. Basil of Caesarea on the gondola with St. Savvas|
|St. Philoumenos the Martyr (wearing glasses) carrying the relic of St. Savvas|
|Patriarch Benedict of Jerusalem|