Orthodoxy in Russia and the courage of women

2013-05-28 L’Osservatore Romano

Moscow, May 27.

It was also thanks to women that, in the Soviet Era, the faith was kept in Russia:  “They saved its continuity until the time when professing faith in Christ no longer brought with it great risk.  It was the myrrhbearing women of our Country who maintained the faith”.  Patriarch Kirill said this during the Divine Liturgy celebrated on 19 May (the Third Sunday of Easter, according to the Julian Calendar, the feast of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women) in the Cathedral of St  Aleksandr Nevskij from the monastery of Novo-Tikhvin, at Ekaterinburg.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church compared their example to that of the myrrhbearers who did not abandon Christ. The Church celebrates the myrrhbearing women because — from a translation on the site “Parlons d’orthodoxie” (blog of the diocesis of Chersonesos) — “when the terrible moments of Our Saviour's tortures came, and following His Crucifixion, the apostles, who had been witness to His greatest miracles, including the Raising of Lazarus, fled in fear. Meanwhile the myrrhbearing women, who had always stayed in the background, did not leave Our Saviour”.