2008-08-19 14:12:00

Many residents of Tskhinvali saw the Holy Virgin during the shelling, the local bishop claims

Moscow, August 19, Interfax - Many residents of Tskhinvali saw the Holy Virgin during the most violent battles, Bishop Georgy (Pukhate), head of the Alania Diocese acting in the territory of South Ossetia and not recognized in the Orthodox world.

"She was seen in long garments. She mournfully passed along the streets. She was seen in the evening and at night in places of most violent and cruel battles. Militiamen realized, the Holy Virgin didn't leave the city to save it from total destruction. She came to help us," Bishop Georgy said in his interview published on Tuesday by electronic paper Utro.ru

He confessed that when some residents told him they had seen the Holy Virgin on the first war days, he "yielded to a temptation" and decided that people "were hallucinating from fear and horror."

"But when many residents and policemen from various parts of the city described the same phenomenon, it couldn't be a hallucination," Bishop Georgy said.

The Alanian Diocese was established in South Ossetia in 2005. The Diocese is subordinated to "Synod in Resistance" of the so-called True Orthodox Church of Greece.