A glass-topped metallic ark with one of the saint's ribs arrived in Moscow on May 21 and will stay in Russia until July 28. Thousands of Christians queued up to see the remains of one of the Russian Orthodox Church's most important figures.
Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill agreed on bringing the relics to Russia during their historic meeting in Havana in February. Since 1087, the body of Saint Nicholas had been kept walled underground in a basilica in the Italian city of Bari. For the first time in 930 years, fragments of the saint's relics were recovered and left the city.