.. ...Hispanidad Futura. .......CRISTIANDAD FUTURA.

El Sagrado Cinturón de la Virgen María del Montre Athos venerado en Rusia en 2011 por dos millones de personas en un recorrido por San Petersburgo, Yekaterinburg, Norilsk, Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Tyumen, Nizny Novgorod, Diveyevo, Saransk, Samara, Volgogrado, Rostov del Don, Stavropol, Kaliningrado y Moscú

Juanjo Romero Infocatólica 25.11.2011

El jueves 20 de octubre de 2011 llegaba solemnemente a San Petersburgo el «Sagrado Cinturón de la Virgen María» procedente del monasterio de Vatopedi (Monte Athos). Acompañan a la reliquia 20 monjes griegos. Todo un acontecimiento, es la primera vez que abandona el monasterio y podrá ser vista por mujeres, por ejemplo. Putin acudió a recibirlos al aeropuerto.

Según la tradición ortodoxa es la única reliquia de la Santísima Virgen, una cinta hecha de pelo de camello que ceñía su cintura y que antes de la Asunción ella misma le entregó al Apóstol Santo Tomás. El viento de las guerras de la época lo sitúa en Vatopedi en el siglo XII, y desde entonces allí permanecía.

No me deja de sorprender la exuberante ceremonia de los ortodoxos. Preciosa. Y más que una característica de su idiosincrasia es una manifestación de fe y de amor. Se nota que creen. A mi me da pena cuando veo a la gente entrar en una iglesia y no son capaces de hacer una genuflexión ante el Santísimo.

Pero más sorprendente todavía, en este caso, es el motivo por el que la reliquia visitará varias ciudades rusas, terminando en Moscú para volver al Monte Athos el 23 noviembre. El promotor, Yakunin; presidente de la «Fundación San Andrés Protocletos» –el primer apóstol llamado– declaró:

Una de las razones por las que hemos pedido al Monasterio de Vatopedi que cediesen en peregrinación el Sagrado Cinturón a Rusia es la situación demográfica de nuestro país. Esperamos que esto ayudará a estimular el interés por el renacimiento espiritual de nuestra sociedad y de los valores familiares.

Putin es un tipo extraño, pero entre todos los dirigentes europeos aquejados de marasmo es el único que tiene una estrategia, y que curiosamente no reduce todo al dinero. Supongo que está inmunizado de marxismo. Quiere que su Rusia vuelva a ser grande y sabe que el principal capital lo supone su gente.

En verano ya puso en marcha medidas legislativas y culturales para detener el invierno demográfico al que se asoma el país. Pero no sé si por convicción o por experiencia es consciente de que este tema requiere una conversión del corazón. Para ello no duda en contar con la ayuda de la Virgen, o al menos, en facilitarle a la gente que lo haga.

Ya me gustaría que Putin fuese un tipo ejemplar en otras facetas de la vida, pero lo que está haciendo debería hacer reflexionar a más de uno.

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Juanjo Romero Infocatólica 24.11.2011

Sólo unas breves líneas para cerrar este mes de obligada sequía bloguera. Una vuelta a la noticia sobre la visita del «Sagrado Cinturón de la Virgen María» a Rusia. Ya conté antecedentes y motivos, no quiero repetirme.

Quería fijarme en los miles de rusos que en Moscú guardaron horas –algunos 24h– en la kilométrica cola para poderle dar un beso a la reliquia.

Creo que tiene su interés que el objetivo de la peregrinación en Moscú fuese la Catedral de Cristo Salvador, destruida por el odio ateo en 1931. Se demolieron hasta los cimientos con explosivos para poder levantar el Palacio de los Soviets. Quedó inconcluso.

En el año 2000 se consagraba el templo, levantado de nuevo con disposición y estructura similar a la que tenía.

La reliquia termina su «peregrinación» por Rusia y vuelve al Monte Athos. Se calculan en un par de millones los fieles que quisieron ver y tocar el Sagrado Cinturón durante todo el mes. Está mal decirlo, pero parece que no me equivoqué sobre las reacciones, aunque subestimé la manifestación pública y sin complejos de la fe de tantas personas.

Viendo las imágenes recordé el «A Jesús siempre se va y se ‘vuelve’ por María» (San Josemaría. Camino, 495)

También es inevitable recordar Fátima. Ojalá el viaje de los Ortodoxos termine en Roma, pero que se hayan levantado de sus cenizas –mejor, rescoldos– es esperanzador.

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Almost 285.000 people venerated the Belt of the Mother of God in Moscow, over 2 millions of people - in Russia

Moscow, 23 November 2011, Interfax - http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=dujour&div=14

About 285 thousands of people venerated the Belt of the Holy Virgin during its stay in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Headquarters for its stay in the capital told Interfax-Religion.

Tens of thousands of believers stand in the line to the church. Average time of waiting for access to the church is 24 hours. Not only Muscovites, but people from regions came to venerate the shrine.

691 buses with pilgrims have arrived at the cathedral for the time of the shrine's stay since November 19.

Today, there are 133 buses where pilgrims can get warm, pilgrims are given free hot tea and porridge, 69 feed points and 440 toilets are functioning.

The Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called first brought the shrine to Russian St. Petersburg from Vatopedi Monastery on Athos on October 20. After "the North capital" [San Petersburgo] the Belt was brought to Yekaterinburg, Norilsk, Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Tyumen, Nizny Novgorod, Diveyevo, Saransk, Samara, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Stavropol, Kaliningrad, Moscow. First the shrine should have returned to Athos on November 23, but the term of its stay in Russia was prolonged until November 27 as many people desired to venerate it.

Orthodox believers in Russia are sure that the country is under special protection of the Mother of God. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with his spouse and other politicians have earlier venerated the Belt.

Over 2 millions of people have venerated the shrine during its stay in Russia.

For many years Vatopedi monks have done small belts, blessed them on the belt of the Mother of God and spread among the believers. As usual they take a bobbin with 300 meters of ribbon, which is blessed on the reliquary with a special prayer. Then the bobbin is handed over to the monks: they divide the fabric for meter and a half belts, twist them and put into plastic bags together with the text telling about the shrine and instructions how to pray and observe fast.

Orthodox believe that thanks to intercession of the Holy Virgin these belts help cure female infertility, bear and give birth to a healthy child. As the belt of the Mother of God is kept on Athos where women are not allowed, Russian women have a rare chance to kneel down before the shrine, pray for granting children, health to relatives and friends and prosperity to Russia.

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Not less than 300 thsd people venerated the Belt of the Holy Virgin in St.Petersburg

Moscow, 27 October 2011, Interfax -

300 thousands of people venerated the Belt of the Holy Virgin when the shrine stayed in St.Petersburg, head of Andrew the First-Called Foundation press service Alexander Gatilin said.

"No one expected such a flow of believers... People stand in lines for 10-15 hours to kiss the Belt just for one second, to pray, to ask the Holy Virgin about something. They spent these ten hours in cold," he said in his interview with the Vechernyay Moskva daily on Thursday.

Visit of the Holy Belt from the Vatopedi Monastery on Athos to Russia is organized by Andrew the First-Called Foundation. The shrine has left Greece for the first time in the history of its stay in the Vatopedi Monastery.

On November 19, the Belt will be delivered to Moscow, on November 23 it will come back to Athos. Mostly women come to kneel down before the reliquary with the Belt as they are not allowed to the Holy Mount.

For many years Vatopedi monks have done small belts, blessed them on the belt of the Mother of God and spread among the believers. As usual they take a bobbin with 300 meters of ribbon, which is blessed on the reliquary with a special prayer. Then the bobbin is handed over to the monks: they divide the fabric for meter and a half belts, twist them and put into plastic bags together with the text telling about the shrine and instructions how to pray and observe fast.

Orthodox believe that thanks to intercession of the Holy Virgin these belts help cure female infertility, bear and give birth to a healthy child. As the belt of the Mother of God is kept on Athos where women are not allowed, Russian women have a rare chance to kneel down before the shrine, pray for granting children, health to relatives and friends and prosperity to Russia.

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400.000 personas esperaban en Moscú la llegada del Sagrado Cinturón de la Virgen María a la catedral de Cristo Salvador y colas quilométricas de medio millón de personas se formaban para besar la reliquia

24 Nov 2011 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8913048/Half-a-million-Russians-queue-to-see-belt-of-the-Virgin-Mary.html

Braving sub-zero temperatures and a line stretching several kilometres, almost half a million Russians queued this week to venerate a relic of the Virgin Mary brought to Moscow from Greece.

The Moscow authorities said 400,000 people had waited outside Moscow’s vast Cathedral of Christ the Saviour since The Belt of the Virgin Mary relic arrived on Saturday. Around 82,000 were queuing on Thursday alone.

In an extraordinary display of the strength of Orthodox Christianity in post-Soviet Russia, the faithful have stood in a queue stretching five kilometres (three miles).

The Belt of the Virgin Mary is believed to help women’s fertility and cure illnesses. It toured ten other Russian cities before arriving in the capital.

“There is something I need to ask. Nobody in this line is here just for fun,” said 40-year-old Ivan, who was waiting at the front of the line for his wife and child.

He said venerating the belt is especially meaningful since it rarely leaves Mount Athos, a Greek peninsula with very strict visitation policy, where only men are allowed to go.

“I joined the line at midnight, so it’s been about 12 hours,” he said. The wait could be up to 26 hours, news agencies said.

“I am 74, and I have suffered a heart attack. I am handicapped in my arm and leg,” said another man, identifying himself as Vladimir, after exiting the imposing white cathedral and leaning on his wife’s supporting arm.

“Maybe it will help?” he said, tears welling up in his eyes.

The head of the Moscow city centre prefecture Pavel Bolshunov told Russian news agencies that as of Thursday morning more than 407,000 people had visited the relic since the weekend and another 82,000 were currently waiting.

Faced with the queues, the Russian Orthodox Church extended the relic’s stay in Moscow by three days to Sunday.

An intercom announcement on the Moscow metro at the stop nearest to the Cathedral warned people arriving by the subway that the line stretched along the Moscow river for nearly five kilometres and its end was in a distant neighbourhood four metro stops away.

Struggling to contain the throngs of Orthodox believers, the city erected a maze of metal barriers, re-routed traffic on some of the streets, and brought in 1,500 police officers to ensure order.

The Cathedral asked on its website that people simply touch the small silver chest holding the relic with their hand, without kissing it in the Orthodox tradition, “so that as many people as possible could touch the relic.”

But by Thursday afternoon the cathedral staff moved the chest to sit atop of an arch which people simply walked through, allowing 80 people to worship it every minute, RIA Novosti reported.

A woman pleaded with one officer on Thursday to be allowed to the top of the queue. “But I took the day off already!” she said, wringing her hands. Parents ushered boys and girls through the barricades in a separate queue for children and the handicapped.

Another pale young woman asked an officer: “Where is the line for pregnant women?” A makeshift booth offered free hot tea.

The Belt of the Virgin Mary is kept permanently in Vatopedi monastery on the Greek Mount Athos and this is its first ever appearance in Russia.

Russia’s Orthodox Church had an incredible surge of influence and power in recent years as millions of Russians began to practice religion in the 1990s after decades of state-dictated atheism in the Soviet Union.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour became a symbol of this change when its replica was built in 1997 in the same spot where the original was blown up by Soviet authorities in 1931.

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Belt of the Holy Virgin delivered to Russia from Athos monastery

Moscow, 2011 October 21, Interfax -

Delegation of St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation delivered a reliquary with one of the greatest Christian shrines - belt of the Mother of God from the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos to St. Petersburg

"One of the reasons why we asked the Vatopedi Monastery to bring the belt of the Mother of God to Russia is demographic situation in our country. We think this shrine will arouse interest to spiritual revival of our society, to family values," head of St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation and head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin told journalists on Athos.

The shrine has left Greece for the first time in the history of its stay in the Vatopedi Monastery. About 20 Athos monks will accompany it in Russia.

Vatopedi Father Superior Archimandrite Yefrem said the monastery had earlier refused the request to bring the reliquary to other countries, for example to the USA, Romania. The exception was made for Russia.

After visiting St. Petersburg the shrine will be taken to other Russian cities. The last point is Moscow. The belt is to return to Athos on November 23.

For many years Vatopedi monks have done small belts, blessed them on the belt of the Mother of God and spread among the believers. As usual they take a bobbin with 300 meters of ribbon, which is blessed on the reliquary with a special prayer. Then the bobbin is handed over to the monks: they divide the fabric for meter and a half belts, twist them and put into plastic bags together with the text telling about the shrine and instructions how to pray and observe fast.

Orthodox believe that thanks to intercession of the Holy Virgin these belts help cure female infertility, bear and give birth to a healthy child. As the belt of the Mother of God is kept on Athos where women are not allowed, Russian women have a rare chance to kneel down before the shrine, pray for granting children, health to relatives and friends and prosperity to Russia.