Singing mendicant beggars (kaliki perechožie), who, for the most part, were blind or crippled and could be found everywhere in Russia before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, were only later, i.e. secondary, carriers of Russian religious songs (duchovnye stichi). The primary composers and performers of Eastern-Slavic religious folk songs were mediators between the Orthodox Christian Church and the people. Mendicant pilgrim beggars in Old Russia regarded themselves as those among the few selected by God. They practised their vocation of begging alms with approval from Jesus Christ. They “were baptized into Christ and clothed themselves with Christ”. From this, it follows that treating beggars to a meal or giving them alms was the same as treating Christ and giving the alms to him. The holy beggars of Old Russia were pilgrims: mendicant icons of Christ. With their life, they were meant to encourage others to purify their own icon-like quality received from God, and thus become similar to Christ.