The Polotsk local historian, Alexei Bukhovetsky, shared with VitebskCity.info his own investigation into the disappearance of the Belarusian shrine – the cross of Euphrosyne of Polotsk, and also told about his possible whereabouts. Carrying out the investigation, Alex talked with many people.
First of all, with those who knew mother Olga very closely. So he found out – the cross of St. Euphrosyne may well be in Polotsk! Last week, the local historian met with Vera Fedorovna, who, in fact, was the best friend of the nun Olga, and when the nun became completely weak, she helped her with the housework. The meeting took place at Vera Fedorovna’s house. Of course, Alexei asked a lot about the cross of Euphrosyne. He additionally saved the recording of the conversation to the recorder. – Vera Fedorovna, tell us what you know about the cross of Euphrosyne of Polotsk? You have been near mother Olga for a long time. What did she tell you about the place where the relic could be hidden? – Mother always said that the cross of St. Euphrosyne is here in Polotsk. – Vera Fedorovna began her story. – In those days, mother Olga was a singer in choirs in the Transfiguration Church. People came to the temple and brought a cross with them.
These were elderly nuns. They gave everyone to attach to the cross. Applied and Olga. Then no one knew what kind of a cross it was. Then they began to say that this is the cross of Euphrosyne. He was very similar to the real one. – So mother Olga saw the cross? – Yes, not only saw, but also applied to the cross. And when they found out that the shrine was kept behind Polota (the river in Polotsk), they began to go there – they worshiped and healed.
It was somewhere in the 70s of the last century. – Vera Fedorovna continued her story. – In those years there was a great persecution of believers and the cross was hidden. Listening to the story, Alexei Bukhovetsky recalled how he personally asked mother Olga about the place where the cross of Euphrosyne could be. And she answered him: “Alexei, the cross is here in Polotsk! I know that for sure! ” As a result of his own investigation, the Polotsk local historian found out that, according to the nun Olga (Dorozhko), the novices of the Polotsk monastery in 1929 managed to exchange gold and a simple cross that they brought with them from Polotsk to Mogilev for a relic, and then deliver the Euphrosyne cross back to Polotsk. During the Great Patriotic War, one of the nuns, mother Valentina, kept the cross of Euphrosyne of Polotsk on the territory of the monastery, and after the war, taking the cross with her, she went to live beyond the Polota River (Slobodskaya St.).
According to the nun Olga, the nuns were going to bury the cross, “… so that it would not go to the secular authorities and the NKVD”. At the beginning of the 70s of the last century, the nuns, the guardians of the cross, suggested that mother Olga come and adore the relic, but she could not do this because of a serious illness. Alexei Bukhovetsky said that he was repeatedly asked: “Why didn’t they return the cross back to the monastery?” Everything is very simple.
It was a time when the church and everything connected with it was negatively related to society. And so the nuns did their best to hide the shrine from the worldly authorities. The territory of the monastery, its temples and structures were in very poor condition. Holy Cross Cathedral, St. Euphrosyne’s Church were almost completely destroyed. The Transfiguration Church required major repairs. To return the shrine – the cross of Euphrosyne – at that time there was simply nowhere to go! There have been many cases in the history of the church when believers hid their shrines in order to preserve them.
The relics of Sergius of Radonezh were replaced and hid repeatedly, both by the ministers of the church and the parishioners. But not only church objects of worship were destroyed. Masterpieces of world art were smelted into gold and silver bullion. And if museum rarities were protected by the state, then church shrines could be saved only by hiding them or replacing them. So it could be with the cross of St. Euphrosyne. Indeed, for some, he was an ordinary golden thing, encrusted with precious stones, the subject of profit and enrichment. And very few recognized the cross of Euphrosyne as the greatest masterpiece of art of the XII century. Where, nevertheless, is one of the main Orthodox relics? Is it lost forever? Some are looking for him in Russia, others in America, others in Germany, and the cross may be very close – in Polotsk! When Alex asked the nun Olga: “Mother, do you think they will ever find the cross of Euphrosyne?” She always answered: “Come, Lesha, time and the reverend Euphrosyne will indicate where he is, or they will find the cross through someone else.”
xBut not yet time! ”In one of the programs about Wang she was asked the question about the cross of Euphrosyne: will he be found? Wang said that the cross will be found when the time comes!