Steubenville, OH (WTRF)- The Ohio River has become holy just today. 

It’s all part of the Great Blessing local Orthodox Churches have done once a year for the last 4 years. 

Priests say the water is now, in a sense, sanctified. This means once it’s blessed, anything living in it and anyone who takes water from it is also blessed. Priests call it a blessing from God, and believe the blessing will reach a great portion of America. 

“It’s a blessing to be able to do this with all our other Orthodox churches. Sad we don’t get together as often as we should, but this is one of the events we do that we like to get together, and show our unity as an Orthodox faith.”

father Andrew Nelko, Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in Weirton

During the blessing, priests also throw ice crosses into into the river. Those crosses, priests say, have already been blessed with holy water. 

The parishes involved in this blessing include the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church of the Life-Giving Fountain.