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“ Defying the warnings of the police, Bishop Cyril blessed the water...”

St. Cyril of Kazan

An excerpt is from a book "Russia's Catacomb Saints: Lives of the New Martyrs" by Ivan Andreyev and Fr. Seraphim Rose.

"During the celebration of Theophany in Petersburg in 1909 Bishop Cyril revealed himself as an outstanding fighter for church truth and tradition. Under the influence of worldly “scientific” elements it was officially decreed that all water which was to be blessed for the feast in the Petersburg diocese must be boiled beforehand, and thus the great Agiasma had to be performed over steaming pots. One outspoken church organ of the time noted that: “More faith was shown in the firewood necessary to boil the water and kill the germs, than in God. Fortunately, however, not everyone stepped away from the anchor of our salvation, and in the same Petersburg the Lord preserved for his chosen ones a single bishop who did not agree to yield his faith for the sake of peace with the enemies of Christ’s Church. If these notes ever see the light of print, let them preserve the name of this loyal servant of God and archpastor, for the strengthening of faith and piety in my overburdened brethren. Cyril of Gdov is the name of this bishop. May his name be blessed from generation to generation.” Defying the warnings of the police, Bishop Cyril blessed the water of the Neva River at the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra right through a hole in the ice. The local police, however, took measures to ensure that no one was allowed to take water from the “Jordan”."

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