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BELGOROD, RUSSIA: June 3, 2010
Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany Participates in the Feast Day of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Belgorod

Beginning in 2004, the feast day of the Host of New Martyrs and Confessors of Belgorod is celebrated every year on June 1. The historical reason for this specific date is that fact that most of them, with the exception of Hieromartyr Nikodim, Bishop of Belgorod (+1918), were shot in Blagoveshchensky Prison on June 1, 1938. This feast day has been celebrated in recent years in Belgorod, Stary Oskol and the city of Stroitel (where a church dedicated to these saints is being built).  

This year, it was decided to hold the main celebration in the newly-built Church of Holy Martyrs Vera, Nadezhda, Lubov and their mother Sophia. The church was consecrated by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on May 2 of this year.  

On the morning of June 2, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Ioann of Belgorod and Stary Oskol, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) celebrated Divine Liturgy here. Vladyka Mark was joined by the Church Rector Protopriest Sergei Koliy and the deans of the local diocese.  

After the Eucharistic Prayers, Protopriest Leonid Konstantinov, Dean of the Second Belgorod Deanery and Rector of St Nicholas and St Ioasaph Church, delivered a sermon. After Liturgy, a moleben was performed to the Belgorod Martyrs. Afterwards, Archbishop Mark addressed the clergy and worshipers. 

After the divine services, Fr Sergei guided Vladyka Mark and his delegation on a tour of the church complex. Ksenia Golub, Director of the Theological Education Center of SS Vera, Nadezhda, Lubov and Sophia, showed the guests their exhibition of the icons of the Serbian painter Olgica Stefanovic.

For photo and video report, click here.