In 2021, we are celebrating the 800th birth anniversary of Alexander Nevsky, the patron saint of St. Petersburg. Representatives from the city, public organizations and the clergy discussed the events that have been prepared for this anniversary at a news conference at the Euro 2020 Press Center.
Speaking at the event, Superior of St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Bishop of Kronstadt Nazary said: "This is our own patron of St. Petersburg. All those who come to our city, regardless of the reason, fall under the blessed hand of Alexander Nevsky, a hand that never knew defeat." He recalled that the Lavra holds the relics of the Great Prince.
His Eminence Nazary noted that celebrations for the anniversary started last year. Thus, the photo exhibition, "In the Name of the Holy Prince," took place at the Russia — My History Historical Park, with support from the St. Petersburg Committee on Culture, from December 4, 2020 to January 24, 2021. The exhibition displayed a hundred photos from the encyclopedia album of the same name.
Bishop Nazary said the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky was transferred to the lavra in this anniversary year. Now it hosts an exhibition of liturgical icons from the churches in the St. Petersburg metropolitan see, which will last until July 12.
In general, the northern capital will have events of various genres in this anniversary year: historical reenactments, wit & humor competitions, and games between universities, said Vladimir Ivanov, head of the Department on Relations with Religious Associations at the St. Petersburg Governor's Executive Office. There are also plans to restore monuments and other cultural heritage landmarks associated with Alexander Nevsky.
"The goal of these events is to show the personality of Alexander Nevsky and through this to better understand the history of our Fatherland," Mr Ivanov emphasized.
As part of the celebrations, the city's universities will participate in the student festival entitled, "The 12 Feats of Alexander Nevsky." The State Institute of Cinema and TV is planning to conduct a series of games, "What? Where? When?" devoted to the personality of Alexander Nevsky. The Institute of Dramatic Art is planning to stage scene studies on the Holy Prince's life.
"Alexander Nevsky is a figure worthy of emulation. Young people need a leader who can take them forward. This is why the city's universities have joined the celebrations," said Anna Stepanova, deputy chair of the Committee on Science and Higher Education at the St. Petersburg Executive Office.
PhD Roman Sikolov (History), director of the Institute of History and Social Sciences at the Hertzen Russian State Pedagogical University recalled that the village of Ust-Izhora, the venue of the Neva battle, is part of the modern history of St. Petersburg.
"We can study history from textbooks but we can also visit the places where these events took place. Of course, we are pleased with the current situation that allows us to take pride in showing our city," he said.
The city is focusing on the image of Alexander Nevsky, and not just for this anniversary year, thus, since 2006, the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation has carried out a program entitled, "Alexander Nevsky," that brings relics of the saint to different Russian cities. In addition, churches in the name of the Holy Prince have been built in Baltiisk, on Valaam and Sakhalin islands. The award, Faithful Saint Prince, has been instituted and a scholarly study "Alexander Nevsky: Leader, Diplomat, Warrior" has been published.
"We revere Alexander Nevsky and want our youth to continue this tradition," emphasized Director of the Foundation Vladimir Bushuyev.
All news on the events devoted to the celebrations of Alexander Nevsky's 800th birth anniversary can be found at the website www.anevsky800.ru.