tv Documentary RT July 22, 2013 3:29am-4:01am EDT
all moving together it was an amazing feeling of course. there is no noise it's silent here everyone goes in silence singing and praying and that's it. i've heard about the procession before but i never had any idea about how good it could be you feel free here i don't want to leave. the little risky procession of the cross the oldest longest and by far the biggest in russia. it's a grand and compelling sight cells and it's march from kill off to the village a river and back almost a week they walk through woods and fields from dawn until dusk some bare feet
they carry backpacks and pray. i have sinned so much. i'm carrying this. i see a lot i have a lot of say more than i know please forgive me they're only able to sleep for about three hours a night from the road filled feet hurt turns to carry the icon of the wonder worker on their shoulders and still they smile despite the pain. and fatigue we're happy that's why. my nose is bleeding. i don't know why i just chatted and i saw. the real widely different people here. old and young rich and poor
what motivates them. challenging and many more every year where does this rough dusty road lead. in everyday life things like money and other problems take center stage here you don't think about that you think about something a problem. most important if you don't do that from time to time. the person becomes some kind of walking dead creature businessman vitali is following this route for his fourth time but this is the first walk. they met in a nightclub a few days before the procession of the cross they spent some time together talked a little and then went their separate ways they met again on the procession quite by chance perhaps for a reason. but for now they're going on together with a crowd of forty thousand people i go with my girlfriend and he goes with his
friends and at some point you just find someone you know or meets. one knew and stayed together from then on when everyone feels something special about the procession of the cross something personal the main idea though is to reach the destination together in the same spirit and emotional state it's very important. the first time i came here was as a tourist my friends and i would really curious there were so many people who wanted to test ourselves and besides the company was really cool the guys were into all the tourist stuff i don't remember if there were any medics there at the time but a lot of people were so exhausted they could barely walk and had to ask for help with . their feet hurt and some of them fainted it was clear they needed help the next
year we brought more medicines and bandages later i formed an official medical team and we went in as first aiders. natalia is called the general no she's found fulfillment of helping people who take part in the procession she organized and headed a search and rescue team throughout the year the volunteers rescue animals and search for missing mushrooms because i didn't june they walked with the pilgrims providing first aid. do you want me to put a bandage here. yet no you should you think if i actually didn't want to go all here just to come and see the celebration but i had a dream i saw st nicholai and he told me to take a vow to go to board so i did but now i want to go to got a. little bit three days ago he fell and broke his ribs because of his age he's also suffering from tacky cardio and high blood pressure but still he wants to keep
going i keep explaining the risks involved it's our duty i have to see it that way otherwise i'll just lose. my mind i think it's about pride you know they say they have to get there no matter what some even say they want to die in the procession i've heard them say that believe it or not. do you understand what i'm saying that the a rib is broken you simply can't go on there will be no road where you go in tomorrow if you fall again you could puncture you along with a broken rib or worse i suggest you take a rest and come back to the celebration think about it. saving lives is now much more important than simply taking part in the procession. we've already evacuated three people who wanted to keep going i don't know what tomorrow will bring when you see how many people are going you pray all the time if it happens unconsciously i simply say help them god there's so many people.
quickly it actually looks nice people don't give you can tell. you oh such a futile cries. there was one of the most jubilant pilgrims taking part in the procession as a child she was found to have a learning disability and now for the first time in her life she's meeting people who don't say she's crazy but a child of god. when i first came here i was completely lost i was no longer the innocent creature and to this wall as i was completely unrelated and highlight i had plenty of man it was hard for them not to one free sex was me. that's how i lived. lord jesus christ son of god have mercy on us.
program from moscow but never spent time with harlots before as a religious man he dreamed of becoming a priest he has always believed that there should be no sex before marriage and for many years he searched for a good orthodox girl is in fact was his motive for taking part in the procession in the first place. i tried to meet girls to have a relationship but building a family always failed usually we felt the same about each other she wouldn't like me and i wouldn't like her i always felt there was something wrong with you i know i make decent money. i'm an interesting guy and i'm not unattractive i never met anyone i felt right about i'd already stopped looking by the time i met elaine i didn't expect to start a family in truce i tried to get used to the fact that i'd always be alone.
they met a year ago on the first day of last year's procession nicholai off for the unusual pilgrim go look up of tea she accepted when we sat next to my tent and talked a lot then she said she didn't have anywhere to stay so i said you're welcome here . at the pier he was the first guy who didn't even label finger on me or make a move on me never even try to ask about it. you never said let's have some fine you know or at the bar but he asked if i was called and gave me something warm to wear then he led me into his warmth and gave me his sleeping bag he was cold to you but he gave it to me and slept like that i was shocked nobody had ever done anything like that for me no one it was the first time in my life that. i had never before met anyone so desperately in need of his help love and care. he
proposed to elena and she said yes. i invited alaina to moscow and didn't want to let her go she's a very curious person that's what i like most about her if she doesn't understand something she asks for an explanation she's humble she's easy going and does what i ask are. you know this. is. why the servant of god is marrying you in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit amen so cross yourself and kiss the icon. the servant of god is mary nicholai kissed the icon of jesus christ.
i'm shocked i didn't expect this i feel as though i mean haven't really i had no idea i'm such a sinner and i never ever expected anything like this in my life. but now all my troubles and difficulties out over finally a rewarding life a christian life. to intimate instead of a restaurant dinner a camping mat in place of a hotel bed. the two didn't even discuss where they'd go for their honeymoon neither doubted that the velikovsky procession of the cross was their only option. i've already been able to bathe in the spring. if you wanted and i went to the
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newlyweds believe they owe their happiness to. this is the icon for too long and the pilgrims behind become irritable they're being kept waiting and they too want to venerate the st they also believe in miracles but the original icon no longer exists it was found in the fourteenth century beneath a pine tree next to the river but it eventually disappeared and the wonder years now is a seventeenth century replica an antique but still a replica. we usually don't talk to most of the pilgrims there know about it the thing is that the old i can doesn't exist anymore it's gone disappeared without a trace we have another one here now you might call it a success when the icon of the wonder worker disappear it was replaced with a replica of the miraculous nature of the replica has also been confirmed by the church many people want to pass below the icon and join
a long line to do just that they believe it will bring them health and happiness but the most amazing things will happen in a village the place of the original icon meanwhile priest reveals another secret of the procession of the cross i didn't know that the procession was different before the revolution now it's not like that. but not the way we do now. carrying banners and crosses and it was taken in a small carriage and escorted by just one priest who took it to the villages he presented the icon to locals the same way we're presenting it now in. the local people came to see it and pray it was the procession of the cross before the revolution. today thousands of pilgrims pray while standing on the remains of a demolished church. revolution.
this is lennon street but. that one particular woman died before she could see this happy day margarita was a legendary leader of the underground procession. she was a great old woman she went seventy times i saw her perform a miracle with my own eyes it was really hot today pretty hot and it's difficult but that time it was awful we called it an egyptian heat. so she said to us now you ask for good weather you didn't care about that apparently when you were committing your sins. we were asking for the children they were really exhausted
she thought for a moment and then started to sing the lord's prayer after that she said lord be merciful and give us some brief all of a sudden the sky started to dark clouds appeared and screamed out the sun the wind started to blow it was so nice the temperature dropped but when the kids started to talk and play she said ok enough now that moment the clouds went away and the heat came back. today there is no one to control the weather. the procession another miracle that was simply unthinkable in soviet times when nobody protected. the pilgrims instead the police ambushed them and blocked their way. for the first time after the soviet union collapsed. openly go to the river there were just two
hundred people there. and one stray dog. but. it is this little dog followed us from the very beginning of the trip. people feed him that's why he falls us he's not starving anymore he's got used to us and doesn't bite anyone. next to people during rest stops that is the way it is. this is not just a dog but a full participant in the procession the pilgrims will see it again when they reach . christ is risen indeed risen christ is risen. jesus christ is risen indeed risen. single enormous precession splits into two. one group goes down to the wooden
chapel on the village river. the other stays up on the high ground to hug a tree and cut pieces from it. i think some of the people don't actually understand why. they don't feel involved with the miracle of. life that's why they look for something material. things like that tree trunk. the image of the nicholai appeared on that exact pine tree. even though they start to generate superstitions for example you have to chew the bark of the tree to keep your teeth healthy. they did it so eagerly benchley ate the whole thing. once it was gone they dug out the roots and a them to. one that was over they found another tree trunk can call that a saint too. because everything here is about holiness and sanctity. they
can do it forever now they have some kind of holy some huge pine tree and they hearken venerates i really want them to hilda saw. i don't know why i do this i just follow. we do it to stay healthy the whole year right some. they say you have to take it. and it will bring you how you will as holy energy and what you are doing here is hedonism. the real. unlike some of the less conscientious pilgrims the dog who had been running ahead of the procession for three days knew exactly when to go straight to the platform built for the water blessing ceremony. also consider that a miracle. how life is today you want one thing tomorrow it's something else things come and go but the most important thing is that this place
the village of. forever be the place. of the wonder workers icon appeared today is still with us because with us travels with us we pray to him he returns to the place where he appeared by the great american who happened the great miracle of the russian orthodox church. is carried on to the platform where the water is blessed and then a mass bathing begins. some of the people consider this the high point of the entire event their goal has now been achieved then they can go home with a clear conscience. but most of these pilgrims will choose to stay. is my main goal is to go the whole way from the very beginning to the very end no matter how hard it is no matter what happens if you start it you have to finish it
i never give up halfway if you give up there's no point in going the whole trip becomes pointless and there is no point in that so what's the point faith you have to strengthen your spirit becomes. stronger if you give a powerful way through your weak you have to be strong nothing will break you in the future. there is another important reason to go all the way from beginning to end. so he is a successful businessman he runs a construction company and considers himself healthy and wealthy with a wife and a beautiful daughter and so there was only one thing i wanted to ask for him each though i wanted to some so i prayed to see nicholai the wonder worker. after five perceptions of the cross his dream came true today he's not asking for
anything this trip is to simply think his patron saint. oh hello. yes now i just can hear you where you know you we're on our way we'll get to you soon is there any food there everything's ready we've got hot soup and. sounds great what do you want to call it quiet down here death here. come here they had daddy come here say hi daddy daddy. how my boy he. pieces are waving when. you just said that ok comes in as you can. see i guess wife travels by car with her young son he is called short for nicholai after the wonder worker. next year she plans to become
a real pilgrim herself. i can't explain it but i feel something i feel i have to do it to go all the way from beginning to end i see people who go more than twenty or thirty kilometers a day it's really difficult they're tired exhausted but you have to see their faces they shine people feel happy sure they're tired but it's a pleasant kind of fatigue that doesn't make you feel bad. the business man's wife believes that i took so long to grow wish for a reason those five perceptions made a really big positive difference for. he is a completely different person now he changed a lot now he's calmer and more balanced i don't know if he's become kinder though but i still hope. he's quite an impulsive man and it was really easy to drive him mad lose his temper but now even when i raise my voice to keep silent it's much
easier to deal with him now he has started to care about other things he was kind of selfish before but now he's not he's changed a lot. to term and he had planned to take the last stage of the journey with his young son and no one can make him change his mind not even his wife or his best friend. he hasn't how does not sleep in an hour will carry him on my shoulders them why he'll be sleeping everyone else does it why shouldn't i but he doesn't need this we do it for a reason but he doesn't care he's a child. he won't understand it anyway exactly we need it. you do yes. maybe this light hearted dialogue reveals something of why the pilgrims join this procession each year in the first place and says no practical purpose for church government but for the pilgrims themselves
there are real benefits to be gained from joining the procession of the cross. tomorrow they'll go their separate ways the true turning to their day jobs they'll go back to being businessmen program a sportsman or pension as they'll return to the everyday struggle of the modern world but for today they stand together grimy and tired with calloused feet they pray and continue to believe passionately in miracles. but i will react to situations i have read the reports. and know i will be distinct comment on your latter point and i'm going to say.
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