Church of the Smolensk icon of the Mother of God speaks again
Commemorated on 10 August, the Day of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God saw the consecration and bell-raising ceremony at a church specially restored in the iconТs honour at the new ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The eleven bells, delivered to St Petersburg from the Voronezh Bell Foundry, were consecrated by Archpriest Gennady of the Tsarskoe Selo eparchy (diocese). “By bringing back this church, we are bringing back our history. The history is a very complex and complicated one, but nevertheless, it is ours. Today we consecrate and raise these bells, which will represent the life of this church. What they will herald is up to us”, he said before beginning the public service.
Known as the ‘messenger bell’, the largest of the 11-piece ensemble weighs in at 1,850 kilograms and depicts the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, as well as icons of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki, St Mary Magdalene, and St John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria. The bell will be installed in the northern bell tower. The other bells, weighing 10 to 700 kilograms, will be housed in the southern bell tower.
Natalia Konovalenko, Chair of the Board of Directors of ExpoForum ZAO, expressed her gratitude at the ceremony to everyone who made the restoration of the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God possible: “Today we stand at the walls of a church that has been resurrected from oblivion. I would like to thank each person who has played a part in its construction. May the peal of the bells we are raising deliver this good news near and far.”
Fragments of the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, built by Giacomo Quarenghi to a two-bell-tower design unusual in Russia, were found during pre-construction works for the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Lost during World War II, the church has now been restored based on the architect’s sketches and archival photographs.
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