Chapel consecrated on site of 2018 mall fire in Kemerovo, Russia

On March 25, a fire broke out at the Winter Cherry shopping center in Kemerovo, Russia, that tragically left more than 60 day dead, including more than 40 children. A day of mourning was declared in Russia, and condolences poured in from the fraternal Orthodox Churches around the world.

Just days after the fire, more than 30,000 residents of Kemerovo had petitioned the local governor to build a chapel or open a park on the site of the burnt-out mall. Heeding their call, the Park of Angels was built on the site.

And on Saturday, on the great feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, a chapel in honor of all those who lost their lives in the fire was also opened in the park. His Eminence Metropolitan Aristarkh of Kemerovo and Prokopievsk celebrated the rite of consecration of the Chapel of the “Consolation in Grief and Sorrows” Icon of the Mother of God, reports the press service of the KuzbassMetropolia of the Russian Church.

Last September, a chapel in memory of the children who perished in the fire was consecrated in the nearby village of Treschevsky.

Saturday’s service was attended by relatives of the victims, Governor Sergei Tsivilev, Mayor IliyaSeredyuk, members of the construction team, numerous citizens, two other hierarchs of the Russian Church, and the abbesses of the Kemerovo Diocese’s convents.

In his archpastoral word, Met. Aristarkh urged all the Kuzbass people, especially those who lost loved ones in last year’s fire, to be courageous and trust in God’s providence. The Divine Liturgy and consecration were then served, after which the deacon proclaimed “Memory Eternal” to all those who died in the fire.