Osadné, October 23 (TASR) – The Clergy Assembly of Saint Petersburg Metropolitan Church on Saturday came to one of the smallest villages in Slovakia – Osadné (pop. 166) in Prešov region – to sing in a performance that formed part of the Days of Russian Religious Culture sponsored by the Russian Embassy in Slovakia, TASR learnt on Sunday.
Local Orthodox parish priest Peter Soroka told TASR that even though the assembly is used to performing before larger audiences, the number of spectators didn’t matter so much in this case. Osadné was selected as the venue for the concert due to the unique crypt beneath the local Orthodox church that contains the remains of 1,025 Russian soldiers from the First World War.
The restoration of this crypt was funded by the Russian Embassy – the very first such project involving Russian military graves in Slovakia. In addition to those interred in the crypt, more than 1,400 other Russian soldiers from the First World War are buried in a nearby cemetery.
According to Soroka, members of the 30-member Russian assembly weren’t only singing for a few dozen spectators; with their chants they were most of all praying for their countrymen buried beneath the church and in the local cemetery.
The assembly was accompanied by a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has brought to Slovakia relics of Orthodox saint Luke the Surgeon, archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea (1877-1961).