According to Tverynews, approximately 70 litres of holy water was poured through an open door of a plane on Wednesday, the 11th of September, onto the city of Tver, Russia, in a bid to combat “drinking” and “fornication”.
The flight, which set off from Zmeyevo airfield, has taken place every September since 2006 to mark the Russian Orthodox Church’s Day of Sobriety, according to the publication.
Father Alexander Goryachev boards the plane each year in an attempt to promote sobriety in the country, with footage of the flight showing him strapped into a harness so he didn’t accidentally fall from the aeroplane.
This, however, is the first time that holy water has been poured over Tver, as the priest and the local Bishop, Savva, decided that extra measures were needed to protect the city’s residents from intoxication and casual sex.
They were accompanied by the 19th century icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice, which the Orthodox Church believes can heal alcoholics and drug addicts.
Father Goryachev remains adamant his previous flights over the city have helped in the war against alcoholism.
While holding the chalice, Father Goryachev told the news station,
“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,” he continued.
While some people found the story amusing, the priest maintained that it was no laughing matter, asserting “Laugh if you must, you’ll live longer.”
“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,” he added.