Putin gives church Russia’s most important icon after ‘numerous requests’
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the Russian Orthodox Church possession of the country’s most valuable religious icon.
Putin gifted the icon – Andrei Rublev’s “Trinity” – to the care of the Moscow Patriarchate, the church announced Monday.
It depicts the three angels that visited Abraham in the Book of Genesis seated at a table and in conversation.
Russian Patriarch Kirill, a close personal ally of Putin and head of the nation’s Orthodox Church, said it was given to the church after “numerous requests.”
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The Trinity icon was created by the Russian painter in the 15th century to honor the medieval St. Sergius of Radonezh. The image is believed to represent the three persons of God.
Beginning in 1929, and following the Bolshevik revolution, the icon has been housed at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
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The venerated icon will now be displayed at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
It will then be moved to its long-term home at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiyev Posad, one of Russia’s most significant Orthodox monasteries.
Last year, the global head of Eastern Orthodoxy offered a rare public criticism when he condemned Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying, “The whole world is against Russia.”
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During an interview with CNN T?RK, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said he maintained “a very good relationship” with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy while he described how Russia’s recent military actions have strained the country’s relationship with the rest of the world.
Russia’s Kirill has voiced support for Putin and even went as far as to justify the invasion of Ukraine as a war against sinful living and in response to the “extermination” of Donbas separatists.
Fox News Digital’s Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.