As pilgrimages gained in popularity, religious and secular publications offered eyewitness accounts, travel information and pricing for those interested in embarking on such a journey. Readers of the illustrated national religious newspaper Russian Pilgrim (Russkii Palomnik) who were interested in attending the annual feast day celebration of Anna of Kashin in Tver province learned how to travel from Moscow and St Petersburg, what train transfers were required, the duration of travel (which was 13 hours from each capital), and which lodgings offered reasonably priced and comfortable accommodations.37 On the rare occasion of a canonisation, more than 100,000 pilgrims might flock to the ceremonies. Descriptions of the controversial canonisation of Serafim of Sarov in 1903, which created a very public divide between church leaders and members of the imperial family, who sought to use the event to demonstrate its divine favour, provided travel guidance to future pilgrims to the new holy site.38 Exact kilometres travelled, class of tickets, ruble prices for a hotel in Arzamas and then details about the final coach ride to Sarov were included, as well as recommendations for less expensive trips that included a steam boat from Nizhnii Novgorod via the Oka river.39 Together, icons and holy people united both literate and illiterate Russians in their shared Orthodox culture and reminded them oftheir membership in a larger community that encompassed all regions of the empire.

Personal faith did not always lead to an Orthodox conclusion as the steady growth in sectarianism and irreligiosity attests. The crucial turning point came with the publication of the Edict on Religious Tolerance in 1905 that diminished the restrictions on sectarian groups, thus permitting them to practise their faith in public without fear of reprisal.40 Falling away from religion altogether occurred almost entirely among the better-educated urban population and was associated with opposition to prevailing social and political norms. Russia's great thinkers struggled with the symbols and values of Orthodox

37 Putnik (N. Lender), 'Nakanune kashinskikh torzhestv. (Vpechatleniia nashego spet-sial'nogo korrespondenta)', Russkii Palomnik 25 (1909), 344; E. Poselianin, 'Kashinskie torzhestva', Russkii Palomnik 25 (1909), 392.

38 G. L. Freeze, 'Tserkov', religiia i politicheskaia kul'tura na zakate staroi Rossii', Istoriia SSSR 2 (1991), 107-19; Freeze, 'Subversive piety: religion and the political crisis in late imperial Russia', Journal of Modern History 68 (1996), 308-50.

39 S. A. Arkhangelov Starets Serafim i Sarovskaia pustyn' (St Petersburg: Izd. P. P. Soikina, 1903), 194-7.

40 R. R. Robson, Old Believers in modern Russia (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1995). Sergei Zhukhas argued that sectarianism blossomed in the southern provinces in the nineteenth century and by the early twentieth century had begun to influence provinces throughout European Russia. See S. Zhuk, Russia's lost reformation: peasants, millennialism, and radical sects in Russia and Ukraine, 1830-1917 (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2004).

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