St Nicholas - the conqueror of peoples
It is difficult to find in the Christian world another saint revred as much as Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. And not only in the Christian world. Images of St. Nicholas are found in the tents and yarangas of the northern pagan peoples (indigenous Siberians called the saint "a good old man" and claimed that he helps them).
A number of Buddhist peoples worship the saint in their own way: Kalmyks call him Mikola-Burkhan, consider him the patron saint of the Caspian Sea and helper of fishermen; for the Buryats, he is the White Elder - the spirit of prosperity and longevity; Mongol-Buryats call him "Sagan-Ubukgun" (in Russian - Father Mihola). Muslim Turks have the deepest respect for Saint Nicholas and anxiously preserve the dungeon in which he was once imprisoned. There is even evidence that the Turks kept the icons of Nicholas the Wonderworker on their galleys, since he repeatedly saved them from the dangers of sea voyages.
Agreement between the Pope and the Patriarch
The exact date of the assumption of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker is unknown (sources indicate 345-351 years). His incorruptible relics at first rested in the cathedral church of the city of Myra of Lycia, where he served as archbishop. They were myrrh-streaming, and the world healed believers from various ailments.
In 1087 one part of the relics of the Saint was transported to the city of Bari in Italy, to the church of St. Stephen. A few years later, the rest of the relics came to Venice. The question of the authenticity of the relics of St. Nicholas, which stirred the minds of skeptics for almost nine centuries, was solved by the professor of anatomy of the University of Bari Luigi Martino. He explored the relics of Bari in 1953 and the relic of Venice in 1992. The conclusion of the professor and the commission he created confirmed, that the bones in Venice complemented the remains resting in Bari. The myrrh-washing of relics was also scientifically confirmed.
Nowadays presumably 65% of the relics are located in Bari, about 20% rest in Venice; the rest of the relics are spread throughout the world.
Russian people began to read Nicholas the Wonderworker shortly after the Baptism of Rus’ by Prince Vladimir in 988. By the middle of the XI century, the first icons of the saint appear, for example, his image is found on the frescoes of St. Sophia in Kiev. In many Russian cities, the main cathedrals were called by the name of the archbishop of the World of Lyca.
On May 21, 2017, relics of St. Nicholas were brought to Russia from the Italian city of Bari. This was made possible thanks to the agreement reached during the historic meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill in Cuba on February 12, 2016. The shrine was in Moscow and St. Petersburg for 52 days; during this time, 1.3 million people from different regions of Russia and other countries managed to worship her.
However, not many people know that not only a great number of icons of St. Nicholas are kept, but also particles of his relics in more than 20 churches and monasteries in Moscow and the Moscow region. The spiritual and cultural tourist route “The Third Rome of St. Nicholas”, which was offered to your attention, includes some of these many holy sites.