Sretensky: Cathedral of the Meeting of the Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir

Cathedral of the Meeting of the Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir.

This is the smaller house of worship in Sretensky. Built circa 1679, it is also 338 years older than Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors. It features relics of St. Mary of Egypt and a replica of the Shroud of Turin. Some of the older churches at the seminary (as well as elsewhere throughout Russia and former Soviet republics) were “disassembled” by the communists. Some of these razed Sretensky churches dated back to the 14th century.

The origin of the monastery’s name comes from “Sretenie,” which is the Church Slavonic word for “meeting,” since it was built on the spot where the Muscovites and Prince Vasily I had “met” the icon of Our Lady of Vladimir on August 26, 1395, when it was moved from Vladimir to Moscow to protect the capital from the Mongols’ sacking and raping. Soon thereafter, the invading armies retreated and the grateful monarch founded the monastery to commemorate the miracle.

In 1552, the Muscovites “met” again at the walls of the monastery to greet the Russian army returning home after the conquest of Kazan under Ivan the Terrible. This put an end to 100 years of Mongolian Khan rule in that city.

Another darkened “forbidden” photo, although the accentuated candlelight really does illuminate the space nicely.

A stunning relief sculpture. There’s something about the wood that made it seem so real.

An identical copy of the Shroud of Turin.

Another version of the Shroud in a different exposure. It’s amazing how clearly you can see Jesus’ face in this one. Wow!

Christ smashing the gates of hell.

Archangels protect the Shroud, which is housed on the bottom floor of the church.

St. Mary of Egypt’s relics. She is one of the only female saints to be shown scantily clad and without a head covering, as she was naked when St. Zosimas found her in the desert. She had been a prostitute (who sometimes wouldn’t even accept money for her pleasurable acts), but she was transformed from sexual deviant to devout and sanctified Christ follower.

More royal doors on the outer edge of the smaller cathedral.

St. Stephen the Protomartyr.

The warm glow of Holy light from the cathedral bids us farewell from the monastery.

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