The Venerated Crypts in the Vvedensky Cemetery in Moscow: “The Black Savior” – the History of a Cult
[Pochitaemye sklepy na Vvedenskom kladbishche v Moskve: “Chernyi Spasitel” – istoriia kul’ta]
Type of publication: Research Article
popular Orthodoxy, authorities and folk cults, veneration of graves, places of fulfillment of desires
Based on archival documents and field materials, the article describes the history of appearance of the cult of the bronze statue of the Savior (so-called Black Savior), installed on the grave of L.G. Knopp, and the further fate of the statue, crypt, and veneration. Presumably in the late 1930s – early 1940s, believers began to come to the statue, pray in front of it, ask for help and consecrate the water that was poured onto Christ’s hand. In 1948, Soviet authorities tried to eradicate the cult by removing the statue from the cemetery and transferring it to the Moscow Museum of Architecture. At about the same time, another sculpture of Christ (so-called White Savior) appeared in the cemetery and veneration was transferred to it. Gradually, the practices transformed: there were about 10 different crypts incorporated in the cult, on whose walls visitors would write their wishes, waiting for their fulfillment. Most of these wishes are of a secular nature. The practice still exists nowadays.
Moroz, A.B. 2021. The Venerated Crypts in the Vvedensky Cemetery in Moscow: “The Black Savior” – the History of a Cult [Pochitaemye sklepy na Vvedenskom kladbishche v Moskve: “Chernyi Spasitel” – istoriia kul’ta]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 163–178. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150013603-3
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