Moscow, April 7, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia released doves from the porch of the Dormition Cathedral in the Kremlin.
"We believe that one of the dwellings of the Mother of God is our Motherland and it is certainly so as so many fateful miracles saving our Motherland from unlimited outside force which was capable to entirely destroy it happened in our history under the protection of the Mother of God," the patriarch said after the festival liturgy in the cathedral.
According to him, protection of the Mother of God is especially felt in Moscow.
"We can recall Tamerlan's invasion: he stood right near Moscow and prince Vasily Dmitriyevich realized that no squad, no mobilization could prevent the devastation of Moscow. He brought the miraculous Vladimir icon of the Mother of God to the city, which was destined to perish in several days, and through the vision of the radiant Lady in his dream Tamerlan understood that he should not enter the city," the patriarch recalled the legend.
Patriarch Alexy II revived the old Russian tradition to release birds on this feast in Moscow in 1995. It symbolizes spreading of the good news about the birth of Christ. In Orthodoxy doves also symbolize the Holy Spirit, one of the three hypostases of the Lord.