Beginning of the tour

The Pan-Philippian tour of the greatest shrines of Christianity began with the oldest Orthodox church in the Philippines in honor of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross May 20, on the feast of the appearance of the Holy and Life-giving Cross of the Lord in Jerusalem (351AD). The rector of the parish, Archimandrite Philemon (Castro) and the dean of the Manila Deanery, Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), led a prayer service in honor of the Holy Cross, the Most Holy Theotokos and 21 saints, whose icons with relics were then offered for worship to all believers. The priests and the President of the St. Bonifacio Charitable Foundation Natalia Mezentseva, through whose works the holy relics were collected throughout the Orthodox world and donated to the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, told the audience about the venerated saints and the history of finding the brought particles of their relics.