The Cross was created on request of St. Euphrosyne as an ark for storage of Christian relics by the Polotsk craftsman Lazar Bohsa in 1161. It is made in the form of a six-pointed cross of height 51,5 cm. First the Cross was kept in Polotsk, then from 1929 to 1941 — in Mogilev Regional Museum. In 1941 it disappeared without a trace during the evacuation of the museum.
In 1997 Brest artist-jeweler Nikolai Kuzmich made the full-size copy of the Cross, which was inaugurated and handed over to the Savior and St. Euphrosyne convent in Polotsk.
Euphrosyne (sometimes spelled E?frasi?nia, Efrasinnia) of Polotsk (or Polatsk, Po?ack) (1110–1173) was the granddaughter of a prince of Polotsk, Vseslav.
She refused all proposals of marriage and, without her parents’ knowledge, ran away to the convent of which her aunt was the abbess and became a nun. Later she founded her own convent. She spent her time copying books, and the money she thus earned she distributed amongst the poor. She also built two churches, and one, the church of The Holy Saviour, still stands today and is considered to be the most precious monument of early Belarusian architecture.
Towards the end of her life, she undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she died sometime after 1167. Her body, after the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187, was carried by the monks to Kiev and deposited there in the Monastery of the Caves. It was only in 1910 that the relics of the saint were brought back to her native town of Polatsk.
Title: 850th anniversary of the Cross of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk
Date of Issue: 21 March 2011
Denominations: 5000 BYR, 10000 BYR