Russia is the center of the Eastern Orthodox world. And its capital, Moscow, was nicknamed the “third Rome” after the conquest of Constantinople (“second Rome”) by Muslims. The largest country on the planet owns infinite natural resources. And its spiritual treasures are the same big. For more than 1,000 years since the adoption of Christianity, they increased immensely. Ancient churches, healing springs, miraculous icons, and valuable works of Orthodox art are among these treasures.
It would take years for a pilgrim to see them all. But you can try to visit only the most significant places of the Russian Orthodox Church. And this task becomes easier if you entrust the organization of your tour to a reliable pilgrim center.
The Andcross Pilgrim Spiritual and Educational Center has been helping believers to see all the most important sites since 1999. Over the past decades, groups of parishioners have been to different countries. But Russia is unique. After all, its territory is vast. As a result, there are more travel management challenges than usual. Flights, transfers, accommodation, arriving and departing – Andcross takes care of everything instead of you. As a pilgrim, you may simply focus your thoughts on faith.
Many holy places in Russia can be visited with Andcross. Among them are well-known sites, which every Orthodox person has heard of.
The Trinity Lavra of St Sergius is the biggest monastery of the country. Faithful people come here to venerate the relics of the founder of this place, St Sergius of Radonezh. He is the most revered Russian saint who lived in the Middle Ages and one of the founders of the spiritual culture of the nation. He is the patron saint of students, that’s why the Moscow Theological Academy is located on the territory of the Lavra. In addition, this monastery is an astonishing architectural ensemble that includes about 50 buildings belonging to different centuries.
St Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery is associated with the name of the second most revered Russian saint – St Seraphim of Sarov. This convent of nuns is under the special protection of the Theotokos. This holy place is considered her fourth earthy domain after the Kingdom of Iberia, Mount Athos, and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. One of the main treasures of the convent is a holy groove with a shaft, which the Virgin Mary herself ordered to fill up when she appeared to St Seraphim of Sarov. After walking here, many people receive healing and help. Also, people improve their health by bathing in several holy springs, which are located in amazingly beautiful places near nature reverse.
The Valaam Monastery is located on the island with the same name in Lake Ladoga. They say that it was Andrew the Apostle who placed a stone cross there. And although the monastery was founded much later, it has acquired many religious treasures over hundreds of years. When praying in front of them, pilgrims ask to heal their physical and mental disorders. And they receive it. Here are the relics of St Sergius and Herman of Valaam, who founded the monastery, the relics of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, and copies of icons of the Virgin Mary. In the monastery, pilgrims will hear many stories of marvelous healing associated with them.
The Solovetsky Monastery is located on islands in the White Sea. This place and Valaam can be called the soul of the Russian north. The stone buildings seem to merge with the harsh and at the same time beautiful local nature. Also, the history of the monastery symbolizes the power of monasticism and the Orthodox people in general. After all, this place used to be a prison for a long time, and some of these prisoners were clergymen.
Pskov-Caves Monastery was named so because of the caves located on its territory. Here, in the caves, the local monastic life appeared. The monastery is also famous for the fact that it has never been closed, unlike other monasteries that were subjected to repression by the unbelieving communist authorities. Pilgrims come to Pechory to bathe in healing holy springs and pray in front of miraculous icons. For example, the Dormition of the Mother of God – an old icon that appeared in one of the caves in the 15th century. There’s a legend that a blind woman started to see again thanks to it.
The Andcross Center organizes trips to other places as well. They aren’t that famous but are also venerated and worshiped. People who go there get healed from their physical and mental disorders. For example, Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, St John the Theologian Krypetsky Monastery, and others.
Check our archive on the website to see the photos from previous trips. There is also a schedule of upcoming trips on the web page of the Pilgrim Center. If you are interested in going to a specific location where tours are not scheduled yet, contact our consultants using the contacts on the website.
Pilgrim Ecclesiastic Educational Centre Andcross