21 November 2018 was held the opening ceremony of the renovated Church of Saint John the blessed at the intercession Cathedral (St. Basil’s) on red square in Moscow, reports patriarhiei.
The event was attended by Minister of culture of the Russian Federation V. R. Medinsky, Director of the State historical Museum A. K. Levykin, the first vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia in Moscow, managing the Central and Southern vicariates Metropolitan Arseny of Istra.
“Not all Muscovites and visitors know that St. Basil’s Cathedral consists of 11 churches. Each of them is unique, but the fate of the latter — the Church of St. John’s Cathedral — has always been in question, and it miraculously managed to save thanks to the dedication of several generations of employees of the Historical Museum. I want to thank the Museum personnel and restorers, sponsors and all those involved in the revival of this unique temple,” said Vladimir Medinsky at the opening ceremony.
The Minister said that this event marks the opening of a new page of history that will be interesting to Muscovites and guests of the capital: “it is Significant that everyone always knew about Basil the Blessed, and the memory of Saint John was in the shade. John was no less illustrious and revered by the people. With the opening of the restored Church today opened a new page of history, which will be interesting to Muscovites and guests of the capital. We invite all who cherish our history, visit, last, 11th, the Church is the famous Church, which is the hallmark of Moscow and Russia”.
The Director of the State historical Museum Alexei Levykin said that the Church was closed to visitors for 90 years and “people have not had the opportunity to venerate the relics of one of the most important saints of the Russian land — blessed John”. “We are pleased that today such an opportunity”, — he stressed.
“This is a happy event, when once again we turn over our history, and not on a new page, and returning to a forgotten old, — said the Metropolitan Arseny of Istra, adding that the Church has always been a sacred, treasured in its walls the relics of St. John. — Thank God that the words of Vasily Shukshin on the Ivanov, not remembering relationship, today is a thing of the past. We see the grateful descendants of our great ancestors once again open for our residents and guests the treasures and relics that abound in our ancient Russian land. Thank you to these people.”
In 2016-2018 in the Church of St. John the blessed had carried out architectural and pictorial restoration and museumification of interior with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church and charitable Foundation “Transsoyuz”, JSC “Russian Railways”. Performed roofing work, restored brick walls, arch and floor coverings, uncovered fragments of wall paintings of the XVII and XIX centuries. Recreating the lost iconostasis of the XIX century carried out in strict accordance with the photographic images of 1935. The Central place it took genuine Royal gates of the XVIII century. Most of the icons that were once in the iconostasis of this Church have been preserved.
The Church is returned to the main relic — the iron chains, which, according to legend, belonged to St. John the Blessed. The site was occupied by a life-size icon and the silver lining at the Shrine of the Saint. Survived pair gilded banners — magnificent examples of religious art of the late XIX century, who framed the ancient entrance to the Church. Their restoration was carried out in 2013 with the participation of “Novikombank”. Of particular interest is the detail of the miraculously preserved ancient iconostasis of this Church — the symbols of the old Testament. The complex has altar cross of the XVII century and associated with the devotions of the Church of the icon of the “Conception of St. Anne” (XVII century) and “St. John the Blessed” (XIX century). Restoration of most of the items carried out by employees of restoration workshops of the Historical Museum, Interregional scientific restoration artistic management and St. Tikhon Orthodox humanitarian University.
The discovery of a neglected monument on red square — an important event in the history of the Church in the spiritual life of modern Russia. This is the only Church that celebrates the name of Saint John the blessed, which underlines its important role in the sacred topography of Moscow. On patron Saint’s days in it will be to worship. Ended took nearly a century long process of museumification of the Pokrovsky Cathedral. All of his 11 churches now available to believers, visitors and guests of the Museum.
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Built in the years 1555-1561 the Cathedral of intercession of Theotokos on the Moat, which is often called St. Basil’s Cathedral, originally consisted of nine churches. Subsequently it was attached to the lower two churches over the relics of the Moscow saints Basil and John the Blessed. Since 1929, bottom of the Church was inaccessible to Museum visitors, not for believers. Decades later the Historical Museum, after extensive restoration, opens the Church of St. John the blessed.
Saint John nicknamed the Big Dome (first half of XVI century — CA. 1589) he was buried, at his request, near Basil. The Church was built after the finding of the relics of the Holy fool in 1672. Assume that its initial dedication was the Position of the Robe of the blessed virgin. Then it was consecrated in honor of the feast of the Nativity of the blessed virgin. In 1916, the chapel was rededicated in honor of St. John the blessed. From the 1780s the Church of saints John and Basil the Blessed was a single liturgical space arranged through internal passages. During restoration work in the 1930s, these passages are laid, and the Northern and Western walls of the Church restored as a facade, having their “brick”. For a long period, the Church was withdrawn from the exhibit and the liturgical space of the temple.