Russia has a growing public health problem involving alcohol. In recent years, there has been an increase in extreme drinking in the country. In some cases, people resort to consuming bootleg alcohol and non-beverage products that contain alcohol like bathroom products and cologne.
Thus, Russian Orthodox priests in the Central Russian city of Tver took to the skies in a small airplane to save citizens from “drunkenness and fornication.” But this is not the first time that this has happened.
|Photo Credit: Youtube.com (via All Things Interesting)|
Since 2006, Father Alexander Goryachev has been marking Sobriety Day, a holiday during September 11 of every year, by flying over Tver with an icon of the Mother of God called “Inexhaustible Chalice.” Orthodox Christians believe that this helps those who are suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. This year, together with Bishop Metropolitan Savva, the priests “cleansed” the city of 18 gallons of holy water. “Every illness is caused by a virus, and viruses are demons. That’s why every illness is first and foremost a spiritual illness,” Goryachev said.
According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, Savva also poured the holy water over the city while he was strapped to an airplane flying between 650 and 980 feet above Tver. The priests were joined by two other clergymen on the flight. According to them, the act was meant to “protect the city from the afflictions befalling it, from all accidents and social adversity.” Instead of using an aspergillum which they typically use when distributing the holy water, the priests used a chalice or goblet.
|Photo Credit: Vesti Tver on Youtube.com (via All Things Interesting)|
Some people find this funny. Nonetheless, Goryachev remains confident about the effectiveness of his methods. “What is the joke? That we’re trying to help people get rid of diseases? We promote stopping alcohol consumption, drugs and fornication—is this laughable?” he asked.
“Let them laugh and we will do our job,” he added.