Damascus, Syria, April 2, 2019
More than 20 icons created in the Orthodox studio of Sergei Zacharchenko using unique carving techniques have been gifted to various churches in Syria, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
The icons were delivered during a humanitarian and pilgrimage visit of His Eminence Archbishop Theophylact of Pyatigorsk and Cherkessk and the assistant to the plenipotentiary representative of the Russian President in the North-Caucasian Federal District Eugene Kirdyapkin, reports the site of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On March 25, an icon of the greatly-beloved St. Matrona of Moscow was gifted to the Russian Orthodox representation church in Damascus as spiritual support for Russian compatriots living in Syria. The same day, the delegation gave a carved icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh to the Patriarchate, stressing the veneration of St. Sergius that is common to both Russia and Syria. “We hope that this image will always testify to our unity and our common faith, which gives strength to help each other,” said Abp. Theophylact.
The group visited the holy sites of Maaloula and Sednaya the next day, where they presented an icon of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg to the Convent of St. Thekla. The archbishop noted that the saint helped many people in need as well as the nuns of the monastery, who demonstrated fortitude and strength in the most difficult times.
An icon of the Archangel Michael was also gifted to the Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, which had lost all of its original icons to terrorist militants. The Sednaya Monastery of the Mother of God was given an icon of St. George the Victorious.
The delegation then visited several other churches and towns and then gifted an icon of St. Alexander Nevsky to the Russian Khmeimim air base.
Abp. Theophylact celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Russian Church’s representation in the capital of Lebanon on the Sunday of the Cross, where they prayed especially for the unity of the Church and protection from schisms and for peace in Ukraine.
Following the Liturgy, the Russian hierarch gifted the church an icon of St. Nicholas.
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