Orthodox priests in Russia’s Tver Oblast region, literally reached new heights in their quest to save their congregations from addictive sins like drinking and fornicating. They got in an airplane and doused the whole city of Tver in holy water, in order to cleanse it.
Metropolitan Savva of Tver and Kashinsky, Father Alexander Goryachev and two other members of the Russian Orthodox Church performed the bizarre aerial blessing last Wednesday, in honor of All-Russian Sobriety Day. They boarded a small plane and brought with them 70 liters of holy water and two icons – the “Inexhaustible Chalice,” said to be able to cure people of alcohol and drug addiction, and one of John the Baptist. A married a couple that claimed the husband had been miraculously cured of alcohol addiction in the past was also present aboard the airplane.
After taking off from an airfield near the city of Tver, the clergymen strapped on their safety harnesses, opened the airplane door and, organized a prayer service before pouring the holy water over the city. It’s not clear why they opted to splash exactly 70 liters of holy water, but one could speculate it has something to do with the special significance of the number seven in Christian religion.
“Any disease is from a virus, and a virus is a demon. Therefore, any disease is primarily a spiritual disease,” Father Alexander Goryachev told Tver News.
“What is the joke? That we’re trying to help people get rid of diseases? We promote stopping alcohol consumption, drugs and fornication — is this laughable?” Goryachev replied when asked whether he thought people would take the aerial blessing seriously. “Let them laugh and we will do our job.”
As weird as this sounds, this was the second aerial blessing reported in the last three months. Back in June it was reported that a Colombian Bishop planned to drop holy water out of a helicopter to cleanse it of crime. I guess it’s turning into a trend.