Orthodox priests in central Moscow have begun nightly processions around their monastery in an effort to combat the coronavirus with prayer, the monastery’s head priest said.
The devotions at the Vysoko-Petrovsky Monastery are the latest example of the Russian Orthodox Church’s efforts to offer faith as a solution to the pandemic.
Every night, priests will walk the sidewalks surrounding the monastery reciting prayers, carrying an icon of the Virgin Mary and splashing holy water on the monastery walls.
“Today we all need help from above, so the brethren of our monastery unanimously decided to escalate our prayers,” Hegumen Peter, the monastery’s abbot, wrote on his Instagram page. “The Lord will not leave anyone behind!”
He added that no more than six to eight members of the monastery would take part in each procession and that they would maintain a safe distance from passers-by.
Russia has registered 147 cases of the coronavirus so far — 98 of which are in Moscow — and one death. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 210,000 people and killed more than 8,800.
In the city of Lipetsk, which has registered three coronavirus infections, local members of the Church recently canceled their planned anti-coronavirus procession over fears of spreading the virus.