Russian Orthodox priests in the city of Tver have gone to extreme heights to save residents from “drunkenness and fornication,” flying in an airplane to douse the city in holy water from the sky.
Metropolitan Savva of Tver and Kashinsky was joined by church representative Father Alexander Goryachev and two other clergymen to perform the aerial blessing Wednesday in honor of All-Russian Sobriety Day, the local Tvernews.com website reported.
The priests brought 70 liters of holy water for their procession, along with two icons: the “Inexhaustible Chalice,” which is said to heal those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction, and an icon of John the Baptist. A married couple that claims the husband was miraculously cured of alcoholism was also onboard the flight.
It’s unclear why 70 liters was deemed the ideal amount of holy water to combat Tver locals’ indulgences. Presumably, more water can be brought in for more severe cases.
"Any disease is from a virus, and a virus is a demon. Therefore, any disease is primarily a spiritual disease," Goryachev explained.
Once the plane reached an altitude of 200 to 300 meters, the blessings began. Metropolitan Savva recited a prayer service before pouring the holy water out of the plane’s open door.
Metropolitan Savva and Goryachev were quick to rebuff those who are skeptical of their work.
“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?” Goryachev told Tvernews.com when asked whether people would take the act seriously.
“Let them laugh and we will do our job,” he said.