Three major Christian relicts

The Cetinje Monastery keeps the following relicts:the Right Hand of St. John the Baptist (the hand that baptized Jesus Christ) and particles of the Holy Cross (the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified); also, the icon of Our Lady of Philermos is kept in the Blue Chapel in the building of the Government House.

Three great Christian relics have gone a long way to reach the historic town of Cetinje. From Jerusalem via Constantinople they came to the Knights of the Holy Crusades of St. John the Baptist who seized them in one of their battles. First they were kept in Rhodes, and then from the mid 16th century they were kept in Malta. This is why the Knights of the Order of St. John were later called the Order of Malta. During the Napoleonic Wars, general of the Order of Malta gave the relics to the Russian Czar Paul I Romanov in 1799 to take care of them. Relics were kept in the court of the Romanovs in St. Petersburg until the revolution in 1918 when Maria Fedorovna, mother of Emperor Nicholas II, brought them to Copenhagen. At the end of her life, she gave them to the Russian patriarch Antonio Hrapovicky who brought the relics through Berlin to Belgrade. Then, he gave them to King Aleksandar Karađordjević as a sign of gratitude of the Russian people and the Russian church for receiving a large number of refugees from Russia. The relics were kept in the royal palace in Belgrade until 1941 which is when King Peter II together with Patriarch Gavrilo Dožić handed them to the Ostrog monastery to be taken care of. The relics were transferred from Ostrog in 1952 to the State Treasury. Then, the Right Hand of St. John the Baptist and particles of the Holy Cross were handed to the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Daniel Dajković and were transferred to the Cetinje Monastery and icon of the Holy Mother Philermos was transferred to the National Museum in Cetinje in 1978 where it is kept until the present date.

These relics are among the most famous Christian relics. They are in golden frames, decorated with diamonds, rubies and sapphires.

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