Jesus icon immured by communists unveiled

Russians restore 16th century symbol at Kremlin.

August 29, 2010 16:58
1 minute read.
Jesus icon immured by communists unveiled

kremlin sun. (photo credit: )


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A 16th century icon of Jesus, embedded in a Kremlin gate but covered over by the communists in the 1930s, was unveiled by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in an official ceremony on Saturday after having undergone restoration efforts, Reuters reported. The icon was rediscovered during renovations on the Spasskaya Tower gates, the main entrance to the Kremlin overlooking Red Square, in the spring.

While it is not certain exactly when the icon was bricked over, it can be surmised that it fell victim during the general purge of organized religion which took place in the Soviet Union in 1937 upon the 20th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. During that time, countless temples and icons were destroyed across the country.

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The "Saviour Smolensky" icon depicts Jesus presiding over Russian saints while holding open the New Testament.

The ceremony symbolically took place on the day of the Assumption in the Orthodox calendar, when it is believed that the Virgin Mary was taken into heaven.  Medvedev addressed the crowd, stating that the newly restored icon would provide moral support to the Russian people.

"Now that we've got the icon back, our country secures an additional defense," he said.

"There is a special meaning in today's event, particularly, it's in the unity of the Church and people," Medvedev added.

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