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JERUSALEM: September 5, 2011
Metropolitan Hilarion Meets with His All-Holiness Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem

On September 2-17, 2011, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, is making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

On September 3, Metropolitan Hilarion performed all-night vigil at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane Convent.

The following day, His Eminence celebrated Divine Liturgy there along with His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain; Archimandrite Isidor, Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archimandrite Tikhon, Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission of the Church Abroad; as well as other clergymen of the Church Abroad traveling with the First Hierarch.

At the end of the service, His All-Holiness Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem arrived to greet the visiting hierarch, along with other bishops of his Church.

In his sermon, His All-Holiness stressed the importance of the reestablishment of Eucharistic communion between the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: Unity in Christ, unity in the Eucharist bears witness to the fact that we preserve unity with all of the Local Churches. The Patriarch also noted the important role played by the Jerusalem Patriarchate in creating peace and love between the two Churches here in the Holy Land.

In memory of this visit and their joint prayer, His All-Holiness gave Metropolitan Hilarion a gift of a panaghia.

Vladyka Metropolitans pilgrimage will include visits to the holy sites of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Galilee, Samaria, Lydda, the Lavra of St Chariton in Fara and the monastery of Great Martyr Catherine on Mt Sinai. The Primate of the Church Abroad also plans to visit Gorny Convent in Ein-Karem and the podvorie of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission at the Tomb of St Tabitha in Jaffa.

During this pilgrimage, divine services will be performed at the Holy Sepulcher of Christ, Holy Ascension Convent on the Mount of Olives, in Bethlehem and St Chariton Monastery.