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Did the Russian warship, Moskva, have a piece of Christ’s ‘True Cross’ on board when it sank?

The Russian cruiser Moskva in 2012.
Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense, Commons 4.0

You may have heard of the sinking of the Moskva, Russia’s flagship in the Baltic Sea on April 14, 2022. There are now reports that it had a piece of Christ’s True Cross on board when it sank.

The high-tech missile ship provided protection to the Russian fleet trying to supply the country’s army that has invaded Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military claimed it had hit and sunk the ship with land-based cruise missiles.

The Russian military initially denied this stating there had been a fire onboard that ignited the ship’s ammunition resulting in a massive explosion. It also stated that the ship was still afloat, and being towed for repairs. The Russian media later stated the ship had sunk.

The reaction by Russia since the sinking basically confirmed that it was indeed sunk by Ukraine’s military, and Russia was in damage control over this humiliating defeat.

Moskva had a crew of over 500 men, and it is uncertain how many were killed in the attack. It is the largest warship sunk since World War II.

There were also reports, that Moskva may have had nuclear warheads on board when it sank.

But that is not all.

The Jerusalem Post is now reporting that the Moskva also carried a fragment of the True Cross on which the Romans crucified Christ.

The Jerusalem Post states that in 2020, Sergiy Khalyuta, an archpriest with the Russian Orthodox Church, told TASS, a Russian news outlet, that the church had put an ancient Christian relic, a piece of Christ’s True Cross, onboard the Moskva.

The relic was embedded in a 19th-century metal cross used during services in the Russian Orthodox chapel onboard the ship.

Though medieval writers reported that there were enough pieces of Christ’s cross circulating at that time to build a cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church claims that this particular relic had a bit of history.

According to its report, Empress Helena, the mother of the Christian Emperor Constantine who ruled Rome between 272 AD and 337 AD, had found the original cross on which the Romans had crucified Jesus.

Over the next several years, pieces of this cross were then distributed to churches throughout the empire.

In an interview with TASS, ArchPriest Khalyuta said:

This relic used to belong to a Catholic church, but was acquired by anonymous patrons of arts, and it was their will to send the relic to the [Black Sea] fleet. The Moskva cruiser has an onboard chapel, where services take place.” 

Though it’s highly doubtful that this fragment was part of Christ’s original cross, the Russian Orthodox church believed it was, and it seems to be part of human nature to treat religious artifacts as good luck charms.

In a war with the Philistines, Israel actually dragged the Ark of the Covenant into the battle after suffering a massive defeat during the first battle.

Israel’s elders ordered the Ark of the Covenant to be fetched from the Tabernacle of Moses located in Shiloh (1 Samuel 4:3).

The Presence of God rested between the Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. By bringing the Ark to the frontline, the elders believed it would work as their servant or good luck charm.

In fact, Israel’s elders asked a very unusual question, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines?”

They were blaming God for their defeat and clearly believed the Ark’s presence would force God to fight on Israel’s behalf. Though unsaid, it was implied, that if God didn’t help Israel in this battle, the Ark would probably fall into the Philistine’s hands.

Despite the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, the Philistines again defeated the Israeli army. As expected, they captured the Ark of the Covenant, and as well, killed the two sons of Israel’s high priest who had accompanied it.

The victorious army hauled the Ark of the Covenant back to Philistia and set it up in one of their pagan temples.

However, this wouldn’t last long, as God judged the Philistines with plagues including mice that wiped out their crops.

God also struck the Philistines with what are described as emerods, Hebrew tho-rim (1 Samuel 5:1-6 ). Some believe this may have actually involved severe cases of bleeding hemorrhoids.

However, the Septuagint, based on Hebrew texts hundreds of years older than what is used for our modern Bible translations, suggests that it may have been the Bubonic plague.

The Septuagint adds this statement:

And in the midst of their land rats sprang up, and there was a great death panic in the city.

Whatever the case, these judgments forced the Philistines to return the Ark of the Covenant to Israel.

God was quite capable of defeating Israel’s enemies and had done so several times in the past. But we can’t force God’s hand, and we are not to treat God as our servant or good luck charm.

READ: Sunken Russian warship may have carried Christian relic ‘True Cross’ piece

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