Nearly 1,000,000 have venerated relics of St. Nicholas in Moscow

Around 930,000 people have waited in line to venerate the relics of St. Nicholas Wonderworker in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral since May 22, according to the latest data, reports RIA-Novosti. Pilgrims are allowed access to the relics daily from 8:00 AM until 9:00 PM. On May 21, a left rib of the greatly beloved hierarch was ceremoniously delivered to and greeted at Christ the Savior during the All-Night Vigil, to the sound of bells from every Orthodox church in the city. The transfer marks the first time any part of the Bari relics have left the Italian city in 930 years.

St. Nicholas’ relic will remain in Christ the Savior Cathedral from May 21 to July 12, and will then be taken to the St. Alexander Nevsy Lavra in St. Petersburg from July 13 to 28. According to official data, between 20 and 40 thousand people have venerated the relics every day. The most pilgrims came on June 7 and 8, with 47.9 and 45.3 thousand people respectively venerating the fourth century prelate.

As of midday June 21, the average wait in the line, which stretches two miles to Frunzenskaya metro station, was five hours. The Church has advised Muscovites and residents of the Moscow region to venerate the relics on weekdays if possible, as pilgrims from farther away come on weekends. On Saturday, June 17, the wait extended to twelve hours.