MOSCOW: May 24, 2017
A Delegation of the Russian Church Abroad Led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York Participates in Namesday Celebrations of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill
On May 24, 2017, the feast day of SS Cyril and Methodius, Illuminators of the Slavs, which is celebrated in Russia as the Day of Literacy and Culture, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia. The day marks His Holiness’ namesday.
Upon arriving at the cathedral, Patriarch Kirill venerated the relics of St Nicholas of Myra and Miracle-worker, which were brought to Moscow from the city of Bari, Italy. The reliquary was available for veneration by the faithful throughout the service.
His Holiness was joined in the service by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who was among a host of archpastors and clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Local Orthodox Churches.
Praying at Liturgy were also VP Legoida, President of the Synodal Department of Media Relations; Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich Romanov; the abbesses of Moscow convents and a multitude of worshipers.
The TV station Soyuz broadcast the service live. “Many Years” was sung to Patriarch Kirill, who read the Prayer for Peace in Ukraine during Liturgy. Among other greetings was a congratulatory message from the Holy Synod read by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
Metropolitan Onouphry then gave His Holiness a painted icon of St Nicholas which was blessed on the relics of the saint. In the words of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry, the icon was painted as a memento of the visit of St Nicholas’ relics to the Russian Orthodox Church. “We ask that St Nicholas, through his prayers, would help you bear your cross and the service which you carry out faithfully in our Holy Russian Orthodox Church,” he said.
His Beatitude then gave Patriarch Kirill a gift of archpastoral vestments on behalf of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “We wish to congratulate you on the feast day of Your Holiness’ heavenly patron, and express our heartfelt gratitude that our Church has a place in your heart, and for your empathy with the tribulations and sorrows the Lord has bestowed upon us for the sake of our spiritual edification,” said Metropolitan Onouphry.
First Deputy Director of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, SV Kirienko, then congratulated the worshipers on this day and His Holiness on his namesday.
“Allow me on this day, Your Holiness, to express our profound gratitude and respect for the service of the Russian Orthodox Church and Your Holiness as its Patriarch in developing and supporting the spiritual foundations of our sovereign nation, your support for traditional family values, morality and spirituality in our society, charity and philanthropy, all that forms the foundation of the Russian nation,” said Mr Kirienko. He also emphasized the “enormous peacemaking contribution” that the Patriarch of the Russian Church makes in international and inter-confessional peace in Russia and the world.
“Your Holiness’ years of service have been carried out in difficult times, when a great many wish to shake the foundations of our government,” he continued. “These are years when the Church has assumed a special role, her importance and influence are growing, so there will always be those who wish to fight against it, even to the point of attacking Your Holiness as the Patriarch of All Russia.”
“You serve as an example not only of a leader, but a strong, courageous person who never shies away from complicated problems, but on the contrary, you assume full responsibility for the actions of the Church, for the moral and religious education of our society, demonstrating for us a remarkable example of how a person who lives in true faith, who follows the commandments of Holy Scripture and the Traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church, is able to overcome all obstacles, to draw behind him society and all the laity united within the Church both in our nation and abroad,” said Mr Kirienko.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill then addressed all those in attendance with a sermon.
Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.