Русский | "the Official site of the Vladivostok diocese" | May 25, 2004
Finishing of the seafaring
religious procession
"Blessed be the Far East"
English Translation by Igor Radev

On 21st of May, the frigate "Pallada", upon which on April 15th heading for the battle sites of the Russo-Japanese war the members of the spiritual-patriotic action "Blessed be the Far East" sailed of, finally made its return to Vladivostok.

Zarchenko N. K., the captain of "Pallada" recounts

- During the trip we also visited the Japanese port of Nagasaki, where the steamboat festival took place, and after that, we sojourned to the Korean port of Yosu. However, our main purpose was the visit of the Chinese cities of Dalian and Lüshun (Port Arthur) on Liaodong[1] peninsula. We arrived at Dalian on May 11th, where we were well received by the Russians who live there, as well as by the Chinese authorities. On May 13th forty men together with the Port Arthur Icon visited the Russian military cemetery, where remembrance service was held and flower wreaths were lied down. On 14th of May we left Port Arthur and set our course to Vladivostok.

During the action three crosses were put on the seabed by the members of the crew: one in Tsushima Strait, a second one on the spot were the cruiser "Varyag" and the gunship "Koreec" ("The Korean") were sank, and a third - at Lüshun (Port Arthur) itself. In Primorye Province (Russian Far East) a capsule containing the earth taken from the Russian cemeteries at Port Arthur and Nagasaki was brought. It is planned on 29th of May this earth to be put solemnly on Russian soil at the Vladivostok seamen's cemetery. The spiritual - patriotic action was brought to its end by a prayer service on deck of "Pallada".

Hieromonk (Medvedev), the caretaker of the church dedicated to the Port Arthur Icon of the Mother of God in Vladivostok:

Hieromonk Roman

- On 12-13th of May a small historical event happened, which although it may seem unremarkable and hard to understand for many, nevertheless has its due importance. All of us together went to the Port Arthur Russian cemetery. All of us went through the accomplishment of an event that is poised to continue in the hearts and minds of those who took part in it or got familiar with it. We have seen traces upon the crosses, traces of destruction, which was suffered by the cemetery during different periods of PRC. We have seen destroyed icons. But we have also seen the faces of the Chinese, who quite earnestly sympathized with our work and expressed their wish for continuance of the action started by us. Besides that, we've seen the chapel altogether with a weeping expression, but it was remarkable enough that the only preserved icon of the Mother of God was there. And that spurred in us an inflow of spiritual strength and urged hope of visiting this cemetery once again.

Cadets on a prayer service

The religious procession happened during the period of Paschal celebrations under the auspices of the patriotic and educational mission bearing the name - "Blessed be the Far East", and its insignia were constantly above frigate "Pallada".

We desire that our country would become stronger and made its grasp on those historical energies which it had possessed for thousands of years. Consequently, with this Litany dedicated to the Providess of the celebration, the Mother of God of Port Arthur (hence it is a celebration to the Most Holy Theotokos), we would like to show that the commencement of whatsoever action always has a spiritual core. And depending on our spiritual resolve, the accomplishments in politics, economy and in the general development and well-being of our society will be in due accordance. By this we would show that the chain of times is not broken.

Port Arthur Icon
of the Mother of God

At the tombs of the fallen soldiers the cadets unexpectedly got in touch with the spirit lived by the Russian soldiers from the past. They stood, prayed and helped getting in order those tombs. And now on the behalf of Vladivostok Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, on the behalf of all the participants of the religious procession and on the behalf of all of those who with their souls and hearts partook in and sympathized with the conducting of the Litany, I want to express congratulations and gratitude.

[1] The original Russian article incorrectly identified the peninsula on which Lüshun (Port Arthur) is situated as Квантон (Kwantong).