A new primate of an old church came to Cleveland recently, carrying a piece of 1,000-year-old bone for worshippers here to venerate.
Metropolitan Herman, leader of the 750,000-member Orthodox Church in America, brought the relic of St. Theodosius to the cathedral named for the saint, the oldest Orthodox parish in Ohio.
Church leaders were waiting with a unique reliquary to contain the bone fragment, sealed in beeswax and other resins.
During the ceremony, Chancellor Robert Kondratick of Syracuse, N.Y., passed the thumb-sized rectangle containing the relic to Herman, who kissed it, placed it in the reliquary and stepped back to touch his forehead to the marble floor. The relic will rest in the nave before the icon screen.
St. Theodosius, credited with introducing monasticism to Russia, lived from 983 to 1073. His body is entombed in a cathedral in Chernigov, northeast of Kiev, Ukraine.
"The faithful can now feel that closeness, venerate his relic, offer up their prayers and ask the saint to intercede for them," Herman said.