Questions of faith are very important for most people. People spare no effort and time to even catch a glimpse of the most important religious relics. Usually these are things or even parts of the body that belonged to the once holy people. It may be the beard of Mohammed, the relics of the Buddha or the thorns of Christ.
At the end of 2011, a particle of the Virgin Mary belt was brought to Moscow, which caused a mass confluence of pilgrims. All of them wished to see the shrine delivered to the capital from the Greek Vatopedi monastery. The number of visitors exceeded 800 thousand people, and the most famous people even received VIP passes for access to the shrine without queue. But this is not the limit.
In 2007, the relics of St. Spyridon of Trimiphunt were delivered to Moscow from Corfu. Then to bow to them came about a million people. In our days, to worship the belt of the Theotokos, we have to stand in a seven-kilometer turn almost a day. Overlapping neighboring streets, the subway makes special announcements about which station it is better to go out to approach the shrine.
In Christianity in general there is a cult of relics, it is in this religion that they are the largest number. In Buddhism, there are fewer, fewer among Muslims. But Hindus and Jews relate to relics skeptically. Below are the most famous religious relics, revered in the world.
Shroud of Turin.
According to the legends, it was in this fabric that the body of the crucified Jesus Christ was wrapped. The special value of the relic is attached to 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, Jeffroy de Charney, announced that he had this relic. Since 1532 the cloak is in Turin, in the cathedral of John the Baptist. Actually this gave the name of the relic. The shroud is placed in a special ark, sometimes it is opened to worship pilgrims. The Christian church does not have a clear position on this relic. Nevertheless, it is believed that this subject as well as possible recalls the Passion of Christ. Adds ambiguity in the question of authenticity and the fact that the last conducted radiocarbon analysis of tissue showed that it was manufactured only in the XIV century. The truth was immediately found by skeptics, who subjected the results of the examination of doubt. The last time the shroud was put on display 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 he baptized Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River. However, in due time John was executed. It was done on the orders of Salome, the wife of the ruler of Judea, Herod Antipas, and the daughter of Herodias. According to the legends after the execution of the head of a saint, one of the maids ruled secretly out of the palace. The relic was buried in secret. In Orthodox Christianity there are three discoveries of the head of John the Baptist. Each of them has its own unique history. In the Catholic Church it is considered that the head that is in the Roman church of San Silvestro in Capite is considered truly genuine. Adherents of Islam also revere the Baptist. They believe that his head is kept in Damascus, in the Umayyad mosque. But throughout the world there are several other places that claim to have a sacred relic. These are Armenia, Antioch and Amiens. Annually hundreds of thousands of people come to these places, wishing to worship the parts of the body of the saint. In addition to John’s head, the number of Christian relics also includes his hand, which is kept in Montenegro.
Belt of the Virgin Mary.
According to the legends, before she ascended to heaven, Mary gave her belt to two Jerusalem widows. They retained the relic, which was then passed down from generation to generation. And in Catholicism it is believed that the belt was given to the apostle Thomas. In the IV century the relic was transferred to Constantinople. There she was almost a thousand years old. After the fall of the city, the belt was divided into several parts, they dispersed to different countries. Today there are five places in which these relics are located.The smallest of them lies in Moscow, in the temple of Elijah the Prophet of the Common. The most revered parts are in the cathedral of Prato, that in Italy and in the monastery of Vatoped on Athos. It was the latter part that visited Moscow recently, provoking a serious stir. The fact that they also have particles of the Virgin’s belt, declare the Vlaherna Church in Georgian Zugdidi and the monastery of Trooditissa, which is in Cyprus. In 2011, a part of the relic was donated to the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. In the same year, accompanied by a group of Athos monks, part of the belt from Vatopeda visited 15 cities. In total, about 3 million Russians came to bow to the belt.
Crown of thorns.
This crown of spines according to the Gospels was placed by the Roman soldiers on the head of Christ before he went to Calvary with his procession of the cross. Of what exactly was the headdress made, it was not indicated. Today this revered in Christianity relic is in the main cathedral of Paris – Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as the Notre-Dame Cathedral. In the country the crown came only in the XIII century, and even then accidentally. 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. There, the crown was bought back by the King of France, Louis IX the Sacred. 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 worshiping believers on the first Friday of every month. When the Catholics are in Lent, the relic is shown generally every Friday. Thousands of parishioners go to look at the crown of thorns that was on the head of Christ in his last hours.
Vladimir’s icon of the Mother of God.
In Orthodoxy this icon is considered miraculous. It is said that the author himself was the evangelist Luke himself at the table, at which Jesus, Mary and Joseph ate. But most likely the author simply created the original version, from which a copy was then 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 Patriarch of Constantinople Luke Chrisoverg. The icon was placed in the Virgin Monastery. But in 1155 she was stolen from there and placed in Vladimir. There she was in 1395, at the Assumption Cathedral. Then the icon was transported to the eponymous cathedral, but already in Moscow. This was done to protect the city from conquerors. It is believed that it was thanks to a wonderful icon that Tamerlane’s troops did not reach Moscow. After this, the invaders twice failed to take the city. In our time, the Soviet government seized the relic and placed it in the Tretyakov Gallery. In 1999, the relic was transferred to the temple-museum of Nicholas in Tolmachi, which is at the same museum. Every day hundreds of people come here to worship the miraculous icon.
Beard of the Prophet Muhammad.
And this relic has its own legend. According to her, after the death of the prophet, the barber dedicated to him shaved off and kept Muhammad’s beard. He intended to preserve the eternal memory of the legendary person and to contemplate the particle of his body with his own eyes. 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, a beard is not considered an official relic, and the prophet himself bequeathed to worship only Allah. Several hair from Muhammad’s beard are also stored in other cities around the world. This is the mosque Hazratbal in India, and the Tyumen Regional Museum. In Russia, the shrine was brought in the XIX century by the merchant-philanthropist Karmyshkov-Seydukov, who paid a lot of money for it. It was kept for a long time in the Yurt Yembayevsky mosque, but the Soviet authorities transferred the religious object 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 – Kaaba. This building in the form of a cube is located inside the Preserved Mosque in Mecca.A black stone is planted in the eastern corner of the Kaaba. The Muslims themselves call it the Stone of Forgiveness. He is 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 some unusual properties. He just has to indicate the angle from which to start circumambulating the Kaaba. But believers tend to touch the sacred stone or even kiss it. According to the legends of this relic, the prophet Muhammad himself was concerned at one time. The stone has its own beautiful legend. His Adam and Eve was presented by Allah himself when he was expelled from Paradise. Then the stone was white. But already in Mecca, he turned black, soaked through the sins of people. There is a theory that the stone is in fact a fragment of a meteorite, but it is not yet possible to prove it. The last time during the Hajj in Mecca was visited by almost 3 million people and all they sought to touch the unusual black part of the Kaaba.
And this relic is located in the Mecca’s Protected Mosque. The history of Islam says that the Prophet Ibrahim, together with his son Ismail, built the Ka’bah at the direction of Allah. When the walls of the building were taller than the height of a man, then for a prophet the son brought a stone. Standing on it and the work was finished. One of the miracles in Islam is that the stone suddenly became soft and the imprint of the prophet’s foot was left on it. The mention of this place by Ibrahim is even in the Qur’an. Today, near the stone are the imams. Hence they lead the prayers of believers, who are annually visited by several millions. Only in the inner courtyard of the Preserved mosque can be accommodated “only” 105 thousand people. At the time of Hajj, those who want to get there and see the place of Ibrahim are much more numerous.
Teeth of the Buddha.
In 540, the deceased Buddha was cremated. According to legend from the fire, the disciples of the saint got four teeth, which were carried around the world. The most important of them was kept for eight centuries in India, and in 1371 was transported to Ceylon. The daughter of the ruler made it, hiding the relic in her hairbrush. The tooth was attributed to magical properties. It was believed that the one who owns it will rule the country. Not surprisingly, the tooth was the property of the royal dynasty. In the 17th century, the special temple of Dalad Maligawa was erected, in which the valuable relic is now preserved. The island is believed that as long as it is kept here, the belief in the Buddha will remain unshakable. The tooth is stored in seven chests, nested one in 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 still several times in history left the island, after visiting India or Burma. The relic remains under the sights of 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 was seen by few. Before the tooth could only contemplate the monks and the king. Now everyone can see a stupa with a relic, only it is necessary to defend a long queue. Occasionally, the tooth of the Buddha itself is demonstrated. He is laid on a special golden loop, emerging from the center of the golden lotus. Every year in the summer in the temple is a special holiday in honor of the relic, where tens of thousands of believers come.
The Buddha himself determined in advance how to bury him. After his death, the saint was buried according to the Buddhist canons. The body was wrapped in 500 layers of cotton cloth, and then burned. After this procedure from the person there were only bones and two layers of a fabric – top and bottom. The possession of the relics of the enlightened was claimed by eight Indian regions. As a result, each of them turned out to be his urn. A stupa was erected above it, a special ritual construction for the storage of relics. The legend says that the emperor Ashoka opened all the stupas and divided the relics into many parts. They say that Buda’s body parts were 84 thousand as a result. These pieces have spread all over the world, they are in Russia.In 2011, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka handed them to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, he transferred them to the central Buddhist temple of Kalmykia. As a result, this is the only place in Europe where such a relic is located. The relics of the Buddha are one of the most revered relics. According to some estimates, they are worshiped annually by about half a billion people. Just so much in the world of Buddhists.