Priests in Russia flew in the skies early this month to “save people from drunkenness” by air-bombing a city with holy water.
Approximately 70 litres (18 gallons or so) of the blessed water was poured through an open door of a plane on September 11th onto the city of Tver.
The excursion was part of the city’s fight against drinking and fornication, with priests reciting a prayer service prior to pouring the water.
The flight, which starts from Zmeyevo airfield, has happened every September since 2006 to mark the Russian Orthodox Church’s Day of Sobriety.
Father Alexander Goryachev boards the plane each year to attempt to promote sobriety in the country while strapped into a harness so he doesn’t fall while spilling holier-than-thou righteousness on common folk.
But this year is the first time holy water was poured onto the city but the priest and local Bishop Savva decided further measures were needed to cleanse the city’s citizens of their secular drunkenness and casual sex.
Father Goryachev holds a strong stance on fighting alcoholism in the city.
He shared with the television station while holding the icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice:
“A man saw our plane flying over head, and told his wife there and then that he would give up the drink – and he did. Every illness is caused by a virus, and viruses are demons. That’s why every illness is first and foremost a spiritual illness.”
The Orthodox Church believes the icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice can heal alcoholics and drug addicts.
But instead of pouring the holy water from an aspergillum, or the instrument priests use in church, Father Alexander insisted the water HAD to be poured from a chalice, sharing:
“This stops the spray from being blown back into the plane.”
And while many have been chuckling at the story, the priest denied that there was anything to laugh at, stating: “Laugh if you must, you’ll live longer.”
Father Alexander continued on, sharing:
“But what are you laughing at? Our efforts to help people heal themselves and stop drinking, taking drugs and fornicating? Let them laugh, but it won’t stop us doing our job.”