"...a church to rival any monument in the history of Christendom....
Virtually the entire inside of the Yasenevo church is mosaic iconography in glittering glass and gold. There have been but a handful of churches decorated like this in all of history, and this church ranks fifth among them in area of mosaics....It is a vision of medieval splendor the likes of which have never before been seen in Russia, and only rarely in all the world...Astonishingly, this church, constructed in just seven years, had no major individual donors....the money came in small donations from ordinary people...800,000 donors in total. Likewise, the astonishing mosaic work was not the work of a professional studio, but of students and amateurs..."
Its the newly consecrated (as of December 2015) Russian Orthodox "Church of the Protection of the Mother of God," in Yasenevo, Russia, the outskirts of Moscow. The above words are dramatic, but seeing is believing. It's dumbfounding.
The exterior is appropriately painted white and bright blue, the colors Our Lady wore at Lourdes. However, when approaching the entrance, it is Our Lord who occupies the center place of honor, with Our Lady to the left and Saint Joseph to the right. Upon entering....well, let's just say that if someone drugged you in your sleep and you woke up in this church, you would think you died and went to Heaven. It is amazing to me that this church was built in only 7 years....it takes me about that long to clean from one end of my house to the other.
This incredible church also houses a crypt with replicas from the Holy Land....the Holy Sepulchre, Mary's Tomb and the Nativity site. Around the outer foundation are war memorial crosses etched into stone. Eerily, there is a memorial after WW II which has been left blank.
What a message of hope that the "Church of the Protection of the Mother of God" could be built in a capitol that once stood for brutal atheistic communism. Our Holy Father Pope Francis met with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill one week ago in an historic meeting, complete with a joint Declaration. Let us pray that some time soon, we may see a full union with Rome....and perhaps this glorious church may indeed one day be transported to Heaven itself!
Read full article and SEE pictures! Orthodox Arts Journal
And more: Official Website