The procession of the Cross of Velikoretskoe is the longest of all Old Believer processions of the Cross. It consists of four day marches and one day of rest in the village of Velikoretskoye, at the site of the finding of the Velikoretskaya icon of Holy Hierarch Nikola on the day of the Nativity of this saint. In four days, the pilgrims walk about 160 kilometers.
The custom was revived in 2002 on the initiative and with the personal participation of Vladyka Andrian, initially the Bishop of Kazan and Vyatka, and then the Metropolitan of All Russia. In 2005, according to custom, Vladyka Andrian led the procession after the cross to the village of Velikoretskoye. On August 10, on the second day of the Procession on the bank of the Gryadovitsa River, Metropolitan Andrian completed his earthly labours. A memorial cross is installed at the place of his repose.
The History of the Procession of the Cross
In 1383, on the high bank of the Velikaya River, the image of Holy Hierarch Nikola appeared to peasant Agalakov. Soon, healings and miracles from the icon started to happen. The rumour about the appearance of the miracle-working image quickly spread around the area. People came to the place of the appearance of the icon, thanked God for the icon granted to them and received spiritual consolation and healing. By common effort, the peasants built a chapel on the site of the appearance of the icon, and later began the construction of a church – a more worthy place for the miracle-working image.
In the 13th-14th centuries, the Russian people had just begun to settle in the Vyatka land, inhabited mainly by pagan tribes. In 1392 anxiety about the fate of the holy icon prompted the Vyatichi to transfer the image from the banks of the Velikaya River to the city of Khlynov (at that time and until 1780 the center of the Vyatka region bore that name). The Khlynovites vowed to bring the icon to the place of its appearance annually. This is how one of the oldest traditions of the Vyatka land was born – the Velikoretsky procession of the Cross.
The fame of the wonderful icon reached the capital. In the 16th century, at the order of Tsar Ivan IV, the icon was delivered from Khlynov to Moscow. On the way, the sick were healed from it and miracles were performed.
By the decree of the Tsar, one of the side-altars of St. Basil’s Cathedral, which was under construction at that time, was consecrated in honour of the Velikoretskaya icon of Holy Hierarch Nikola, and copies were made from the icon. From that time on, throughout Russia, the veneration of the Velikoretskaya icon of st. Nikola began.
What to take with you
1. Prayer book;
2. Comfortable well-worn shoes (lace-boots, sneakers or gym-shoes, maybe rubber boots for the case of rain);
3. Raincoat or light raincoat;
4. Convenient backpack or bag;
5. Change of clothes;
6. Hygiene supplies;
7. Travel mat or foam;
8. Unbreakable plate, mug, spoon, knife;
9. Medicines. For sick people, personally necessary medications are required. Callosities, cuts, sunstroke, or hypothermia in the rain are possible;
10. A flask or plastic water bottle;
11. Documents (it is best to have copies with you);
12. Money (the route passes through settlements with shops);
13. High-calorie foods – nuts, biscuits, dried fruits
The address of the
church of Holy Hierarch Nikola on Vyatka: 14 Sovetskaya str., village Krasnoe,
Kirov 610000 Russia
Rector: Priest German Chunin
Phone: +7 833 2313688