Moscow, November 20, 2017
The 1917 restoration of the patriarchate helped the Russian Orthodox Church overcome persecution, the head of the Russian Imperial House Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna believes. As the head of chancellery of the royal house Alexander Zakatov reported to Interfax-Religion on Saturday, Her Royal Highness, speaking at a festive meal in the cathedral of Donskoy Monastery, stated that “the restoration of the Russian patriarchate has been a beacon of light in that dark time of revolutionary turmoil and civil strife.”
The grand duchess was also present at the Divine Liturgy before the meal, celebrating the centenary of St. Tikhon’s election as patriarch.
In her word during the meal, Grand Duchess Maria also noted that her “ancestor Peter the Great made a terrible mistake in abolishing the institution of the patriarchate and bureaucratizing the administration of the Church.”
“In November 1917, the conciliar will of the Orthodox people fixed this injustice,” she continued. “The revival of the patriarchate helped the Church survive during the fierce persecutions of the faith,” the dynasty head stated.
For his part, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill spoke of St. Tikhon of Moscow, the first new patriarch, and his ministry as an example of how to preserve spiritual autonomy from the world and its authorities, reports TASS.
“St. Tikhon headed the Church during the most difficult period of the Russian Church’s 1,000-year history. He managed to prevent the complete destruction of the Church through a tremendous effort,” the patriarch proclaimed.
After the meal, Grand Duchess Maria had a separate meeting with Pat. Kirill. According to Zakatov, Her Highness shared with the primate her impressions of her trip to Russia and of the events dedicated to the idea of national reconciliation and mutual forgiveness in the year of the centenary of the revolution.