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Letter from St. Petersburg
When I visited the Cathedral of the Icon of Kazan in St. Petersburg, Russia, a crowd was lined up waiting for a closer look at the storied image of Our Lady of Kazan, one of the most revered icons in Russia. After watching the scene for a while, I decided that two kinds of people were in line. Some were tourists, there for a quick look at the icon. When it came their turn to stand in front of it, they examined it this way and that, high and low. They looked like pawnshop appraisers. Others behaved differently: they bowed or knelt for the brief time allowed them in front of the icon. They were people at worship, participants who’d come to look into the mysteries of faith to which the icon pointed.

 

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