The Transfer from Malta to Gatchina of a Part of the Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, together with the Philermia Icon of the Mother of God and the Right Hand of Saint John the Baptist

Commemorated on October 12

      The Transfer from Malta to Gatchina of a Part of the Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, together with the Philermia Icon of the Mother of God and the Right Hand of Saint John the Baptist was done in the year 1799. These holy things were preserved on the island of Malta by the Knights of the Catholic Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. In 1798, when the French seized the island, the Maltese knights turned for defence and protection to Russia. On 12 October 1799 they offered these ancient holy things to the emperor Paul I, who at this time was situated at Gatchina. In the autumn of 1799 the holy items were transferred to Peterburg and placed in the Winter Palace within the church in honour of the Image of the Saviour Not-Made-by-Hand. The feast for this event was established in 1800.
      By ancient tradition, the Philermia Icon of the Mother of God was written by the holy Evangelist Luke. From Jerusalem it was transferred to Constantinople, where it was situated in the Blakhernae church. In the XIII Century it was taken from there by crusaders and from that time kept by the Knights of the Order of Saint John.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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