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November 7, 2019

Finding of the Relics of Saint Cyril of New Lake

Finding of the Relics of Saint Cyril of New Lake (Feast Day - November 7)

The sacred relics of Saint Cyril of New Lake (Feb. 4) were found on November 7, 1649 when digging a moat for the foundation of a church under construction at New Lake Monastery. In 1652, upon completion of construction, they were laid in a coffin in an arch between the cathedral and the chapel. In 1658, the boyar Ilya Miloslavsky adorned the shrine with a precious cover. Soon after gaining the relics, Cyril was canonized as a Saint. The first day of his commemoration is mentioned in the second full edition of the Prologue (1659). In 1795, a silver gilt coffin was made for the relics of the Venerable Cyril.

In February of 1919 the Soviet 8th Department of the People’s Commissariat of Justice published the following report concerning the relics: "A doll depicting a person with the shape of a human face and with all its parts, such as: nose, chin, etc.; under the cover a pile of bones, some of which, like the femur and the back of the head, retained their shape, yet the rest of the bones turned into powder; in the skull are two copper coins of 1740 and 1747."

On June 11, at a meeting of the Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, they decided “To entrust the bones of the opened relics with a doctor, neutralize them, place them in a wooden coffin and put them in their original place." In 1928, the monastery founded by Saint Cyril was closed, some of the valuables were transferred to the museum, and the location of the relics remains unknown. The monastery was significantly destroyed, it opened as a camp for prisoners, and since 1994 it is one of five colonies for life prisoners in Russia.