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Faith issues are very important to most people. It could be the beard of Mohammed, the relics of Buddha, or the crown of thorns of Christ.
At the end of 2011, a particle of the Virgin Mary's belt was brought to Moscow, which caused a massive gathering of pilgrims. They all wanted to see the shrine brought to the capital from the Greek Vatopedi monastery. The number of visitors exceeded 800 thousand, and the most famous people even received VIP passes to access the shrine without a queue. But this is not the limit.
In 2007, the relics of St. Spyridon of Trimyphunts were delivered to Moscow from Corfu. Then about a million people came to bow to them. Nowadays, in order to bow to the belt of the Virgin, you have to stand in a seven-kilometer line for almost a day. Neighboring streets overlap, special announcements are made in the metro about which station is better to get off at in order to get closer to the shrine.
In Christianity in general there is a cult of relics, it is in this religion that they are most numerous. In Buddhism, there are fewer of them, a little less among Muslims. But Hindus and Jews are skeptical of relics. We will tell below about the most famous religious relics revered in the world.
Shroud of Turin. According to legends, it was in this fabric that the body of the crucified Jesus Christ was wrapped. The special value of the relic is given by the fact that the imprint of the body remained on the shroud. The first mention of this relic is found in 1353. Then one of the crusaders, Geffroy de Charny, announced that he had this relic. Since 1532, the cloak has been in Turin, in the Cathedral of John the Baptist. Actually, this gave the name of the relic. The shroud is located in a special ark, sometimes it is opened for worship of pilgrims. The Christian Church does not have a clear position on this relic. Nevertheless, it is believed that this subject is the best reminder of the Passion of Christ. Adding to the confusion about the issue of authenticity is the fact that the last radiocarbon analysis of the fabric showed that it was made only in the XIV century. True, there were immediately skeptics who questioned the results of the examination. The last time the shroud was put on display was in 2010. Then in 45 days 2.1 million people came to see it.
Head of John the Baptist. This saint is known for the fact that it was he who baptized Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River. However, in due time John was executed. This was done by order of Salome, the wife of the ruler of Judea Herod Antipas and daughter of Herodias. According to legends, after the execution, one of the maids secretly carried the saint's head out of the palace. The shrine was secretly buried. In Orthodox Christianity, three acquisitions of the head of John the Baptist are noted. Each of them has its own unique history. In the Catholic Church, it is believed that the head that is in the Roman church of San Silvestro in Capite is considered to be really genuine. The adherents of Islam also revere the Baptist. They believe that his head is kept in Damascus, in the Umayyad mosque. But around the world, there are several other places that claim to possess the sacred relic. These are Armenia, Antioch and Amiens. Hundreds of thousands of people come to these places every year, wanting to worship parts of the saint's body. In addition to the head of John, his hand, which is stored in Montenegro, is also among the Christian relics.
Belt of the Virgin Mary. According to legend, before ascending to heaven, Mary gave her belt to two Jerusalem widows. They preserved the relic, which was then passed on from generation to generation. And in Catholicism it is believed that the belt was given to the Apostle Thomas. In the 4th century, the relic was transferred to Constantinople. There she was for almost a thousand years. After the fall of the city, the belt was divided into several parts, they dispersed to different countries. Today there are five known places where these relics are located. The smallest of them lies in Moscow, in the temple of Elijah the Prophet of the Ordinary. The most revered parts are in the Prato Cathedral in Italy and in the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. It was the last part that recently visited Moscow, causing a serious stir. The Blachernae Church in Zugdidi, Georgia, and the Trooditissa Monastery, in Cyprus, declare that they also have particles of the Mother of God belt. In 2011, a particle of the relic was donated to the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. In the same year, accompanied by a group of Athos monks, a part of the belt from Vatopeda visited 15 cities. In total, about 3 million Russians came to bow to the belt.
Crown of thorns. According to the Gospels, this crown with thorns was placed by Roman soldiers on the head of Christ before he set out on his procession to Calvary. What exactly the headdress was made of was never specified. Today, this relic, revered in Christianity, is located in the main cathedral of Paris - Notre Dame de Paris, also known as Notre Dame Cathedral. The crown came to the country only in the XIII century, and even then by accident. For the time being, the relic was kept in Constantinople, but one day the local emperor was forced to lay it in one of the banks of Venice. It was there that the crown was bought by King Louis IX of France Saint. At first, the relic was kept in the Basilica of Saint-Chapelle, but after 1801, the French decided to move it to a more significant place - in Notre-Dame de Paris. The crown of thorns is available for worship by believers every first Friday of the month. When Catholics have Great Lent, the relic is shown in general every Friday. Thousands of parishioners go to look at the crown of thorns that was on the head of Christ in his last hours.
The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. In Orthodoxy, this icon is considered miraculous. They say that it was written by the Evangelist Luke himself at the table at which Jesus, Mary and Joseph ate. But most likely the author simply created an initial version, from which a copy was later made. The icon was kept in Byzantium for a long time. From there, in 1131, she came as a gift to Prince Yuri Dolgoruky from the patriarch of Constantinople Luke Chrysoverga. The icon was placed in the Mother of God Monastery. But in 1155 she was stolen from there and placed in Vladimir. There she was until 1395, in the Assumption Cathedral. Then the icon was transported to the cathedral of the same name, but already in Moscow. This was done in order to protect the city from the conquerors. It is believed that it was thanks to the miraculous icon that Tamerlane's troops did not reach Moscow. After that, the invaders were unable to take the city twice more. In our time, the Soviet government confiscated the relic and placed it in the Tretyakov Gallery. In 1999, the relic was transferred to the church-museum of Nicholas in Tolmachi, which is at the same museum. Every day hundreds of people come here to worship the miraculous icon.
Prophet Muhammad's beard. And this relic has its own legend. According to it, after the death of the prophet, a barber devoted to him shaved off and kept Muhammad's beard. He intended to preserve the eternal memory of the legendary personality and to personally contemplate a particle of his body. Today this relic is kept in the Topkapi Palace of the Istanbul Museum. It can be seen not only by Muslim pilgrims, but also by ordinary tourists. Surprisingly, in Islam itself, the beard is not considered an official relic, and the prophet himself bequeathed to worship only Allah. Several hairs from Muhammad's beard are also kept in other cities around the world. This is the Hazratbal Mosque in India and the Tyumen Regional Museum. The shrine was brought to Russia in the 19th century by the merchant-patron Karmyshkov-Seydukov, who paid big money for it. It was kept for a long time in the Yurt Yembaevskikh mosque, but the Soviet government transferred the religious item to the museum. And hundreds of thousands of people come to see the beard in Istanbul every year.
Black stone of the Kaaba. Muslims have a sacred building - the Kaaba. This cube-shaped building is located inside the Protected Mosque in Mecca. A black stone is embedded in the eastern corner of the Kaaba. Muslims themselves call it the Stone of Forgiveness. It is located at a height of one and a half meters and is enclosed in a silver frame. The visible part of the stone covers an area of 16 * 20 centimeters. Islam does not believe that this stone has any unusual properties. He simply has to indicate the angle from which to start bypassing the Kaaba. But believers are eager to touch the sacred stone or even kiss it. According to legend, this relic was once touched by the prophet Muhammad himself. The stone has a beautiful legend of its own. It was given to Adam and Eve by Allah himself when he was expelled from paradise. Then the stone was white. But already in Mecca, he turned black, saturated through with the sins of people. There is a theory that the rock is actually a meteorite fragment, but this has not yet been proven. The last time during the Hajj, almost 3 million people visited Mecca and in total they tried to touch the unusual black part of the Kaaba.
Maqam al-Ibrahim. And this relic is located in the Protected Mosque of Mecca. The history of Islam says that the prophet Ibrahim, together with his son Ismail, built the Kaaba at the direction of Allah. When the walls of the building became taller than the height of a man, the son brought a stone for the prophet. Standing on it and the work was finished. One of the miracles in Islam is that the stone suddenly became soft and the prophet's footprint remained on it. The mention of this place of Ibrahim is even in the Quran. Today imams are standing next to the stone. From here they lead the prayers of the faithful, who come every year, several million. Only in the courtyard of the Protected Mosque can accommodate "only" 105 thousand people at the same time. During the time of the Hajj, there are many more who want to get there and see the place of Ibrahim.
Buddha's tooth. In 540, the deceased Buddha was cremated. According to legend, the saint's disciples took out four teeth from the fire, which were taken all over the world. The most important of them was kept in India for eight centuries, and in 1371 it was transported to Ceylon. This was done by the daughter of the ruler, hiding the relic in her comb. Magic properties were attributed to the tooth. It was believed that whoever owns it will rule the country. Unsurprisingly, the tooth was the property of the royal dynasty. In the 17th century, a special temple of Dalada Maligawa was erected, in which the now valuable relic is kept. On the island it is believed that as long as it is kept here, faith in the Buddha will remain unshakable. The tooth is kept in seven chests, nested one inside the other. Buddhists believe that the disappearance of the relic will put an end to their faith in Ceylon. True, there are rumors that the tooth left the island several times in history, having visited India or Burma. The relic remains under the gun of the Islamists. In 1998, terrorists tried to blow up the temple and its main relic. After the explosion, the building was damaged, and the tooth itself remained intact. The relic itself has been seen by few. Previously, only monks and the king could contemplate the tooth. Now the stupa with the relic can be seen by anyone, only a long queue has to be defended. The Buddha's tooth itself is occasionally displayed. It is placed on a special golden loop extending from the center of the golden lotus. Every year in the summer, the church hosts a special celebration in honor of the relic, where tens of thousands of believers come.
The relics of the Buddha. The Buddha himself predetermined how to bury him. After his death, the saint was buried according to Buddhist canons. The body was wrapped in 500 layers of cotton and then burned. After this procedure, only bones and two layers of tissue - upper and lower - remained from the person. Eight Indian regions claimed to have the relics of the enlightened one. As a result, each of them turned out to be its own urn. A stupa was erected above it, a special ritual structure for storing relics. Legend has it that Emperor Ashoka opened all the stupas and divided the relics into many parts. They say that as a result, the body parts of Buda became 84 thousand. These pieces have spread all over the world, and they are also in Russia. In 2011, the Sri Lankan ambassador handed them over to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, he handed them over to the central Buddhist temple in Kalmykia. As a result, it is the only place in Europe where such a relic is located. The relics of Buddha are one of the most revered relics. According to some estimates, they are worshiped annually by about half a billion people. There are just so many Buddhists in the world.