MOSCOW: September 30, 2016
Representatives of the Russian Church Abroad Participate in a Conference Titled “Rus and Holy Mount Athos: a Thousand Years of Spiritual and Cultural Unity”
The 1,000th anniversary of the presence of Russian monks on Mt Athos in Greece is being celebrated in Moscow, Russia, commencing with all-night vigil and the celebration of Divine Liturgy on the Nativity of the Most-Holy Mother of God. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led the ceremony of the opening of an exhibition at Christ the Savior Cathedral Gallery on the topic. Among those present were Representative of the Russian President Alexander Beglov; Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture; Greek Ambassador Andreas Phriginas; Alexander Chubarian, Head of the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Sergei Mironenko, Director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation.
On September 22, the abbots and abbesses of the Russian Orthodox Church met with His Holiness. Representing the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia at the event were His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart, Vicar of the German Diocese; Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem; Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, and Abbess Maria (Sidiropoulos) of St Elizabeth Convent in Buchendorf, Germany.
On September 21-23, a conference was held at Christ the Savior Cathedral and Moscow Theological Academy, which included 42 lectures by leading scholars from ten nations of the world. The theme was the history of Mt Athos as a special phenomenon in the Christian world, the spiritual life and meaning of Russian monasticism on the holy mountain.
An exhibition titled “Rus and Athos. Towards the 1000th anniversary of the Russian Presence on the Holy Mountain” opened as part of the event. The show included materials on the many centuries of Russian-Mt Athos relations, and showed never-before-seen documents, manuscripts and decrees, as well as icons, graphic works, photographs and applied art from Russian museums and personal collections.
The event concluded on September 24 on the feast day of St Silouan of Athos, when his holy relics, which were offered for veneration in Moscow, were returned to Mt Athos.