Sergiev Posad, Russia, October 10, 2017
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection’s federal state budgetary institution the “Sergiev-Posad Boarding House of the Deaf and Blind for Children and Young People with Disabilities” on Saturday, where he blessed the future site of a social rehabilitation center for post-residential support for the deaf and blind, reports the site of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Several other hierarchs, clergy, and local authorities were also present for the solemn celebration, including deaf-blind boarding home director G. K. Epifanova. His Holiness blessed all the children upon arrival, and then celebrated the blessing of the future site of the rehabilitation center.
The inscription on the foundation stone reads, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The social rehabilitation center for post-residential support for young deaf and blind people with disabilities founded by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on October 8, 2017 years from the Nativity of Christ.” The inscription is also written in braille.
In an address to the congregation, His Holiness emphasized the importance of continuing to support the deaf and the blind who have become too old to live at the boarding home. “Without the help of those around them, much will remain impossible for them,” he stated, adding that such a home is necessary for such people. “May the Lord protect you, strengthen you, and help you in life!” Pat. Kirill concluded.
Following the blessing, the patriarch gave gifts to all the children, and a gift of an icon of St. Matrona of Moscow, who was blind from birth and very limited in movement, to the future rehabilitation center. “Thousands of people flock to St. Matrona of Moscow every day. Pray that St. Matrona of Moscow would help each of you overcome your difficulties in life,” the patriarch encouraged the children.
The ceremony ended with a performance of the boarding home choir.
The Sergiev Posad boarding home, founded in 1962, is a unique institution where children with multiple disabilities live and study up to the age of 18. The new rehabilitation center will offer continuing aid after the children have reached 18. The center will be able to accommodate up to 100 people between 18 and 40 years old, with the aim of ensuring, as far as possible, their full and timely social adaptation.
A bas-relief icon of the Mother of God of Cyprus was blessed and gifted to the boarding home last month. The icon was especially made by artist-sculptor Oleg Zon as part of the “See the Icon” project, with the assistance of the “Co-Unity” foundation for the support of the deaf and blind, to be given to the lavra’s podvoriye church of the Appearance of the Mother of God to St. Sergius of Radonezh at the “Sergiev-Posad Boarding House of the Deaf and Blind for Children and Young Invalids,” which celebrated its patronal feast on the same day, September 6.