Moscow, June 8, Interfax - Already half a million people have bowed to the relics of St. Nicholas in the two weeks since they were brought to the Russian capital.
"To date, the number of pilgrims has reached half a million people. The line is on average three kilometers long," Patriarch Kirill's spokesman Alexander Volkov told Interfax-Religion on Thursday.
Among the pilgrims who came to venerate the saint these days was Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the statistics unveiled by the organizers of the bringing of the relics to Russia, between 18,000 and 48,000 people come each day to bow to the relics of St. Nicholas at the Christ the Savior Cathedral. The average time of standing in the line is about nine hours.
The shrine will be on display at the Moscow church until July 12 and will be in St. Petersburg on July 13-28.
On May 21 the relics of St. Nicholas arrived to Russia from a papal basilica in Bari for the first time in history. The relics had never left the city in all of the 930 years they remained in Bari. That the relics were brought here became possible thanks to agreement reached between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill after their meeting in Havana in February last year.