September 29 – the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels
On Sunday, September 27, 2020, St. Michael’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg celebrated the Feast of St. Michael which is the name day of the church.
Founded by decree of Empress Anna of Russia in 1732 as the home church of the First Cadet Corps, it did not have a name for the first hundred and two years of its existence except the unofficial name “the corps church.” It was not until June 12, 1834 that the church was consecrated in the name of St. Michael the Archangel by permission of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. In Russia, St. Michael the Archangel, “a commander of the Lord’s army,” has been venerated as the protector of the military, and the cadet corps was a military school, the first of its kind in Russia. Lutherans made up approximately a quarter of its cadets and instructors.
Over time, the depiction of St. Michael the Archangel has been reproduced on the congregation’s seal. Contemporary artist Tamara Neretina replicated it in her ceramic panel picture which was installed in the worship room two years ago. As in the historical seal, in its center is the year the congregation was established – 1732.
There are hardly any military in St. Michael’s congregation today, but nonetheless its members possess reliable weapons which are the Word of God, faith, love, and prayer. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil,” exhorts St. Paul. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6). As the Word is the Christians’ most effective weapon, the church has reopened its library after a long pause. A recent inventory-taking showed the library has more than 900 book titles.
Photo credits: VK group of St. Michael’s church