SHRINE OF METROPOLITAN JONAH

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Canopy over the reliquary of Metropolitan JonahAt the north-west corner of the Cathedral there is an embossed silver shrine with the relics of Saint Jonah, who died in 1461. The shrine was made on order of Feodor I in 1585. Saint Jonah was the first Metropolitan who was elected by the Russian Episcopate on 15 December 1448 without the approval of the Patriarch of Constantinople which signified the beginning of the de facto independence of the Russian church. It was not intentional and happened after the Eastern and Western (Roman) Churches had agreed upon the Council of Florence in 1439 which was't accepted in Russia.

The canopy above the shrine was created in 1803 and it turned out to be the only shrine that wasn’t damaged during the French invasion in 1812. The legend says that the shrine was saved because of the miracle. The French invaders who opened the tomb saw the undecayed relics of the Saint as if he was threatening them with his fist.

In 1993 a well-preserved embroidered pall of the 16th century with the image of Metropolitan Jonah was found in the shrine. Another covering with the representation of his face can be seen at the glass-case above the tomb.

Reliquary of Metropolitan Jonah