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Closer to heaven: Russian cosmonaut says he took relic into space

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/12/17

From AP: 

A Russian cosmonaut who has returned to Earth after a mission on the International Space Station said on Wednesday he had taken a relic of a Russian Orthodox saint with him. Astronauts and cosmonauts routinely take small items such as their children’s toys or CDs with them as reminders of home. Sergei Ryzhikov told Russian news agencies that he would give the tiny relic of St. Serafim of Sarov’s body, which he received from its home monastery last year, to an Orthodox church in Star City outside Moscow, home to the cosmonaut training center. Serafim of Sarov, one of Russia’s most revered saints known for his hermit lifestyle, died in the early 19th century. Ryzhikov, who landed with two other crew members on Monday after six months in space, said he would celebrate the relic’s return at a church service in Star City on Thursday. “We always wait for some sort of miracle but the fact that a piece of the relics traveled to the orbit and blesses everything onboard and outside, including our planet is a big miracle in itself,” he said.

Read more. 

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