Russia’s First Lady congratulates nation on Family Day

MOSCOW, July 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva on Friday congratulated the nation on the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity the introduction of which she encouraged in 2008 and offered a daisy as a symbol of the new holiday.

“The family is a pillar of support for a person. It provides the happiness of motherhood and fatherhood, forms the character and life values of a child, plays a specific role in the development of society and upbringing of the young on high spiritual and moral ideals,” she said in a message published by Rossiyskaya gazeta.

The holiday which is often called a version of St. Valentine’s Day was introduced in 2008 and is marked on July 8, the day the Russian Orthodox Church commemorates St. Peter and Fevroniya of Murom – actual characters from an early 13-th century chronicle.

Prince Peter’s love to Fevroniya was so strong that when his counselors objected his marriage with a commoner, Peter abdicated the throne and left the city with his wife. Peter and Fevroniya took monastic vows when they grew old and lived in different monasteries, but died on the same day and at the same hour. They asked to be buried in one coffin, but people thought this was an improper request and buried them in different caskets and even in different monasteries. Then, a miracle happened – on the day after the burial, the bodies were in one coffin. Three hundred years later the Russian Orthodox Church canonized Peter and Fevroniya as saints.

Medvedeva said although the holiday commemorates Russian Orthodox Church saints “it has been supported by all traditional Russian confessions” as “since times immemorial marital fidelity, care about children and the elderly have been the main values in our country.”

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