Keston News reports that on May 26 various "holy relics and a number of church items were returned to the Russian Orthodox Church from state museums in the Kremlin." According to the Soviet news agency TASS, among these holy treasures were "...a silver gold-plated casket with the right hand of St. Andrew the First-Called, a cross-shaped reliquary with a particle of the relics of Metropolitan Peter of Moscow, the relics of St. George, patron saint of Moscow, another silver gold-plated casket with a fragment of the skull of St. John the Baptist, particles of the True Cross and the stone which sealed the tomb of Christ, and fragments of the robes of the Virgin Mary and the evangelists Matthew and Mark." A service of thanksgiving was held the same day at the Patriarchal cathedral of the Epiphany where the relics are now housed.
Keston comments that the official news coverage--the event was shown on Soviet TV --was marked by respect, a welcome contrast to the derogatory tone and snide references to "alleged relics" or "so-called" saints, which characterized such reportage in the past. (KNS 6/9/88)
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