Moscow, May 28, 2018
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow met with a group of children of fallen Syrian soldiers on Saturday at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. The students, from a boarding school specifically for children whose parents have perished in the war, are in Russia at the invitation of the all-Russian veterans’ organization “Combat Brotherhood,” reports the site of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The meeting with the patriarch was also attended by the First Deputy Chairman of Combat Brotherhood and State Duma Deputy D. V. Sablin. Combat Brotherhood has been a continual source of help and support to those suffering in Syria. The foundation most recently made a sizable donation to St. Thekla Monastery in Maaloula.
Addressing the children, His Holiness encouraged them to remember why their fathers died—defending their homeland—and he wished them peace in dealing with their loss.
“I heard that you are in Russia, and I am very glad that our country has the opportunity and honor to receive you, the children of heroes, and to give you the chance to rest and see Russia,” the primate told the children.
“You need to grow up healthy and strong, and this personal grief is not something that should destroy you internally. On the contrary, the memory of your heroic parents should make you even stronger. You must remember why your parents died. They protected their homeland, their people,” Pat. Kirill warmly stated, offering the children words of encouragement.
“From the bottom of my heart, I wish you, first of all, peace of mind so that you do not cry anymore… And may God protect you from all evil,” His Holiness concluded.
At the end of the meeting, the patriarch presented each child with a patriarchal album, medal, and chocolates. In turn, the children presented the patriarch with a sword made of Damascus steel—a symbol of the Syrian capital, reports RIA-Novosti.
The children then performed the famous Russian song “Katyusha” in Arabic and Russia, which greatly delighted Pat. Kirill. At the end of the meeting, the young guests were given a tour to the observation deck of Christ the Savior Cathedral.
The children’s song begins at 5:50 in the video below:
The Syrian delegation consists of ten children aged 12-14 years old. Together with the children of Russian soldiers who have died in combat mission in Syria, they took part in the international children’s military-historical assembly “Eternal Flame 2018,” organized by the Fund for Social and Cultural Initiatives, and on Victory Day, May 9, they took part in the march of the “Immortal Regiment,” carrying portraits of their fathers.
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