Belgorod and Starooskolskaya Diocese
Belgorod Diocese - one of the oldest dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. The first mention of it is found in the Nikon Chronicle - the largest monument of Russian chronicles of the XVI century. However, Belgorod Diocese existed long - under the blows of the hordes of Batu she disappeared after the destruction of Belgorod. Generally, Belgorod Diocese has gone through development. Episcopal Belgorod was created by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in 1667. In 1799 there was a division of the diocese of Belgorod on Kharkov, Belgorod and Kursk. In 1905, became part of the Diocese of Kursk. Only 90 years later, in 1995, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church from July 18, and the Decree of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II ancient Belgorod Department was revived. By separation from the Kursk, Belgorod Belgorod Diocese was formed and Starooskolskaya diocese. And control it was appointed Archbishop John (Bishop, and since 1999 - Archbishop).
Shrine land Belgorod
One should not forget that as of old, the Belgorod region is famous for its Christian shrines. The main and most revered of them are incorruptible relics of St. Ioasafa, bishop of Belgorod and Oboyan. During Soviet times, they were in the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg - at the Museum of Religion and Atheism. However, September 16, 1991 a shrine was brought to Belgorod and installed for public worship in the Transfiguration Cathedral. On this occasion, the capital of Belgorod then visited the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II.
Another Belgorod shrine - Our Lady of Smolensk. According to legend, she was miraculously brightened the night of October 15, 1703 over the gates of the fortress wall of Belgorod. In 1743 the city was erected Smolensky Cathedral, where the icon was until its closure in the twenties of the last century. But in the nineties, as well as other shrines, it was to grow up to their historic homeland. More than 500 years old icon of St. Nicholas, called "Plate of Nicholas." Legend has it that the shrine to protect the inhabitants of one of the villages of Belgorod - Ustinka - from the attack of the Mongol-Tatar troops. Seeing the enemy, the Mykolayiv monks of the desert, is located in the village, went out to meet him with an icon of St. Nicholas. Crossing the river stopped Tatars began to jostle and fall from the dam into the water. But the miraculous Kosharsky Cross, located today in Holy Cross church of Belgorod, was made on Mount Athos and in the middle of the eighteenth century, a monk of Mount Athos monastery donated by his brother Yuri Vyrodova - the landlord, who lives in the village of Koshary. But the landlord is not fed to the shrine of reverence, and once after an unsuccessful hunt ordered to throw a cross into the swamp. After that one, a blind peasant heard in a dream a promise that will be healed, if it finds and make a cross out of the quagmire. That the farmer did - and immediately received his sight, touching his discovery. But what is especially remarkable, miraculous incidents from the holy things happen in Belgorod in our days. Thus, in 1998 in Belgorod regional history museum held an exhibition "Road of Love of Christ" on the life and works of Saint Ioasaf. Among the exhibits on the glassed window was created, among others in the XIX century icon of the Mother of God "The Sign" in the metal salary. It was entirely covered with rust. However, during the exhibition the museum staff began to notice that the icon faded rust with the faces and hands of the Savior and the Mother of God, then brightened signature. About this wonderful event was made the act. Then the sanctuary was transferred to Belgorod Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, and is currently on the lectern on the right side of the relics of St. Ioasafa.