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 ST. PETERSBURG

 

    Among the sacred places of pilgrimage to visit in St. Petersburg are the Smolensk Orthodox Cemetery in the northwestern part of the city, in order to venerate the relics of Blessed St. Xenia of Petersburg.  For the story of her life, plus icons and photos of her chapel, see our Saints' Lives Article, The Life of St. Xenia.

    The St. John of Rila Women's Monastery, founded by St. John of Kronstadt, is located in the northeastern part of the city.  The latter St. John was born on the feast day of St. John of Rila, and was named in honor of this saint. The relics of St. John of Kronstadt are located in the crypt under the main church of the monastery. The main church is very large and beautiful. For the story of St. John's life, plus icons and photos of the monastery and his tomb in the crypt, see our Saints' Lives Article, The Life of St. John of Kronstadt.

    The famous and popular Alexander Nevsky Lavra Monastery was originally established by Tsar Peter I, the Great, on the legendary site where St. Alexander Nevsky had defeated the Swedes. Tsar Peter brought the relics of St. Alexander from Vladimir to his new city of St. Peter, and placed them in the Trinity Cathedral in the new monastery, in an enormous and ornate silver reliquary, that is now in the Hermitage Museum. The saints relics are now in a much more modest reliquary in the front of the very large cathedral, on the right. For the story of his life, plus icons and photos, see our Saints' Lives Article, The Life of St. Alexander Nevsky.