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Russian Bishop Flies an Air Balloon, Blesses an Entire City

Soared 1.5 kilometres above Nizny Novgorod (population of 1.2 million) 

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Hundreds of people gathered to watch Metropolitan Bishop Giorgy take flight over the city of Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday evening, the website reports. He had on board 20 litres (35 pints) of holy water, along with an assistant, an instructor and a cameraman who captured the proceedings for a live feed watched by people on the ground below.

Prior to lift-off, Bishop Giorgy told crowds that he hoped the mid-air prayer service would help the city to prosper. The balloon rose to a height of 1.5km (0.9 miles) above the ground during the event, but he seemed unfazed. “My father was a military pilot during World War Two,” he told reporters. “As the son of a pilot, I ought not to fear heights.”

He’s not the first man of God to use his imagination for religious services. In June 2014, the head of Romania’s Orthodox Church was photographed blessing a new TV studio using a paint roller dipped in holy oil, stuck to the end of a long pole. At the time a church spokesman said the “sanctification rod” helped Patriarch Daniel to anoint areas that were otherwise out of reach.

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