A truly biritual affair: the Latin Mass community of Moscow and the Greek Catholic Parish of Sts. Cyril and Methodius of Saint Petersburg. The report was sent by a Russian reader.
July 28 is the day of St. Vladimir according to the calendar followed by Russian Greek-Catholics, and July 29 is the day of St. Olaf in the Latin calendar. The Saint Olaf Pilgrimage, organized by Una Voce Russia together with two Catholic parishes, the Latin-rite of St. Nicholas in Luga, and the Byzantine-rite parish of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in St. Petersburg, brought together men and women coming from several places in Russia as well as from Poland and Italy, both Greek-Catholics and Latins, to walk about 100 km in four days, spending nights in improvised tent camps, and assisting at celebrations which both St. Olaf, a Viking turned Christian, and St. Vladimir, the 10th century prince and baptizer of Russia, would have easily recognized as something familiar: the Traditional Latin Mass and its Eastern counterpart, the Divine Liturgy in the Church Slavonic language.
The goal of the pilgrimage was the city of Novgorod, where St. Olaf has spent some time as an exile before returning to Norway to die as a martyr in the battle of Stiklestad. Nowadays Novgorod is the center of Russian Catholics’ veneration of this holy king, promoted by the Catholic parish priest there, Fr. Vladimir Timoshenko. Father Vladimir presented to the pilgrims an icon of Saint Olaf and also pronounced a very moving sermon at the Mass celebrated by Fr. Paolo Giacinti IVE, the parish priest of Luga who also travels regularly to St. Petersburg to say the “old” Mass there. Also of particular interest were three lectures delivered by Greek-Catholic priest Fr. Kirill Mironov.