15 December 2017, Friday, 3:49

Mahiliou Activist: St Yeufrasinnia’s Cross’ Curse Might Fall On Putin

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Even Ivan the Terrible refused the desire to possess the cross and returned it to the Polatsk monastery.

Mahiliou activist Leanid Padbiaretski wrote a letter to the Russian president and asked him to "help the search of St Yeufrasinnia’s Cross in Russia". Belarusian Social Democratic Party activist Padbiaretski even pointed the neighboring state head towards where the Belarusian relic, which must be returned to its native land, is situated.

However, the author of the letter believes that Putin himself knows where the Belarusian relic is kept, and is sure that the relic will be returned to Belarus. The author of the appeal to the Russian head is convinced that Belarussian relics must reside in Belarus. "This is not just a valuable thing, it's a sacred symbol of Belarus. "I understand that now its value does not fit into the political realities, – Padbiaretski explains his position. – There is no place for it among state symbols."

The activist says that if Putin does not give an adequate response, it does not mean that it’s time to give up. It’s necessary to remind the Russians constantly that there is such a problem, it’s essential to do that until it is resolved.

The relict has its own legends. "There is a curse on the cross, which prophesies grief and misfortunes to anyone who dares to take it out of Belarus, – Padbiaretski told Radio Svaboda. – Even the Moscow Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible), having occupied Polatsk, dropped the desire to possess the cross and returned it to the Polatsk monastery. Ivan the Terrible realized what the cross threatened him. And Putin is not a fool and is able tounderstand that the Belarusian relic must be returned to its native land. "

In his message, the activist even suggested to Putin that the Cross of St Yeufrasinnia of Polatsk should be sought in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra of Sergiev Posad in Moscow region. The activist refers to historian Siarhei Tarasau, who disclosed the following version: until early 1941, everything seized from the church was taken to the State Valuables Depository or to the museums’ funds. And it was impossible to get valuables from there and return back to the church. The only thing left was to give back what had not been stocked. And the Mahiliou Museum’s relicts, including the Cross of St Yeufrasinnia, could find themselves among such unaccounted valuables, as well. Siarhei Tarasau claims that Stalin passed on the Belarusian relic, brought at the time of the Great Patriotic War, to the Russian Orthodox Church in order to appease the priesthood.

In 1941, a car, carrying the party archive and historical and cultural values, was sent from Mahiliou to Moscow. The Cross of St Yeufrasinnia of Polatsk was there as well. What happened to the treasure is unknown. The cross is still officially on the wanted list.

In 1943 and 1945, Panteleimon Ponomarenko, the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, spoke publicly twice about the cross as a subject of art, which had not been lost, but was at the disposal of the USSR leadership. Fruitless attempts were made to find the Belarusian relic in the US. The cross was made in Polatsk for the Church of St. Savior at the request of the Reverend Abbess Yeufrasinnia of Polatsk by master Lazar Bohsha in 1161.

In 1997, Brest jeweler-enamel Mikalai Kuzmich made a copy of the cross, which on August 24, 1997 was consecrated by Metropolitan Philaret. Now it is kept in the Transfiguration Church of the Polatsk Savior- Yeufrasinnia’s Convent.