A large-scale procession with the relics of Alexander Nevsky will begin on Saturday which will last two months and will cover 86 cities of Russia and Belarus, as per the organizers. The total length of the processions with the relics will be about 25000 kilometers – from Brest to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, from the Leningrad region to Vladikavkaz.
Prince Alexander Yaroslavovich (1221-1263) in different years of his life had the titles of Prince of Novgorod, Kiev, and later the Grand Duke of Vladimir. He won many military victories, including liberating Pskov and defeating the knightly army of the Livonian Order on the ice of Lake Peipus, and also became famous as a politician and diplomat. He has been listed as a saint b the Russian Orthodox Church and is the patron saint of Russia’s northern capital. He has died on the return journey from the Horde at Gorodtsa on the Volga, on 14 November 263, and on 23 November 1263, he was buried in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Monastery in the city of Vladimir.
His relics were once kept in a silver tomb. The massive silver sarcophagus was relocated during Soviet times to the State Hermitage Museum where it remains without the relics. In 2020, the Bishop Nazariy of Kronstadt from the Russian Orthodox church raised the issue of returning the silver sarcophagus. The return of the silver sarcophagus to the church has been discussed for many years. In December 2013, the director of the Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovsky, announced that the museum was ready to make a copy of the tombstone for the church, but that it needed 330 million rubles and that the museum did not yet have the money. The tomb is made of silver with a total weight of about 1.5 tonnes and in Baroque style. The museum is in the process of restoring the decoration of the tomb and is expected to take another two years.
A small particle of Alexander Nevsky’s relic is stored in the ark at the Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Another part of the relic is in the church of Alexander Nevsky in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria. A little finger is kept in the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir.