Patriarch Kirill consecrates icon on Kremlin tower

Last Saturday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and about thousand believers attended a solemn ceremony of consecrating an icon over the gates of the Moscow Kremlin Spasskaya Tower held by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. At 03:00 p.m. sharp with chimes striking, the President and the Patriarch walked out of the Kremlin Building No. 1 and proceeded through the Spasskaya Tower gate to the square. After a prayer service, Patriarch Kirill came up to a platform decorated with white flours that was then elevated to the level of the icon. The Primate sprinkled the icon with holy water and blessed the believers.

Ceremony of opening the icon over the gates was timed for the Assumption. Earlier that day the Primate celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Kremlin Assumption Cathedral.

St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation had initiated the reinstallation of icons over the gates of the Moscow Kremlin towers as far back as in 2007. The project received the government support and the blessing of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

In April 2010, experts of the Interregional Scientific and Restoration Office made probes of the icon-cases of the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya Towers. The research has confirmed the hypothesis that the icons were preserved under the layer of plaster.

Ancient icons were discovered on the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya Towers of the Kremlin. They were walled in during Soviet times and have been deemed lost for a long time now.

According to the existing historical materials, the Spasskaya Tower houses the icon of the Savior depicted with St. Sergius and St. Varlaam falling down at His feet. The icon was painted to commemorate the rescue from the siege of Moscow by the army of Magmet Girey in 1521. The mural on the Nikolskaya Tower dates back to the late 15th - early 16th centuries. During the civil fights in October 1917, the icon of St. Nikolas of Mozhaysk was riddled with shots, but his face escaped unharmed which the Moscow believers considered a miracle.

Source: Interfax religion