The holy relics of Saint Demetrios the New were taken out of the Patriarchal Cathedral and driven on the streets of Bucharest in a procession of cars on Sunday to halt the coronavirus pandemic.
The restricted procession of three cars was led by the patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti.
The holy relics and icon of Bucharest’s Protector Saint toured several hospitals where Covid-19 patients are treated.
The convoy made a first stop in front of the Victor Babes Hospital, where Bishop Varlaam said a special prayer to ward off the pandemic.
During the tour, clergy offered prayers to Saint Demetrios for deliverance from sickness and the end of the coronavirus outbreak.
The procession of cars stopped a second time at the Matei Bals National Institute for Infectious Diseases, where petitions were offered for the health of patients and medical staff.
A third stop was made in front of the 1989 Heroes’ Cross at Universitatii Square, where the clergy chanted the troparion of Saint Demetrios the New.
Before bringing the relics back to the Cathedral, an additional prayer was offered at the base of the Patriarchate’s Hill.
Saint Demetrios the New was called in prayer in Bucharest two centuries ago to end the epidemic of bubonic plague (1812-1813). At that time, his relics were carried through the capital, and the number of illnesses decreased significantly.
Similarly, the relics of the Holy Protector of Bucharest were carried in processions during the drought of 1827 or the cholera outbreak of 1831.
On Sunday, April 5, the relics of Saint Parascheva the New circled Iași, Neamț and Botosani counties to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
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Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene
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