Kazakhstan, September 22, 2011
The lofty guests were greeted by the Secretary of the Kazakhstan Metropoliate, Mr ON Ovchinnikov, Protopriest Valery Zakharov, the Senior Priest of the Cathedral and Dean of the Almaty Churches, and other clergymen and parishioners of the Cathedral.
The visitors venerated the holy relics of the cathedral: the honorable relics of St Nicholas the Miracle-worker of Myra, Holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon and Holy Great Martyr Barbara. A prayer and laudation were sung before the relics of Holy Martyr Metropolitan Nicholas of Alma-Ata and Kazakhstan and all the New Martyrs and Confessors of Kazakhstan.
The archpastors and clergymen viewed the water-blessing chapel of St John the Baptist and Forerunner, on the cathedral’s property. Eternal Memory was sung to all “who in the years of brutal persecutions by the godless were tortured and killed”—to all the New Martyrs and Confessors of Kazakhstan—at a cross and rock in the plaza of the grounds.
His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander showed the guests a parish school hosted by St Nicholas Cathedral, which was a gift to the Orthodox children and youth of Almaty by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr NA Nazarbaev. The hierarchs were given a tour of the auditorium, library, administrative offices, and spoke to the teachers and students. His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Borjomi and Bakurian and His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain made inscriptions in the guest book in memory of their visit.
After the visit to St Nicholas Cathedral, the delegates traveled to the main cemetery of Almaty, where a memorial litany was performed for Metropolitan Joseph (Chernov) of Alma-Ata and Kazakhstan.
That afternoon, the delegates accompanying the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to Kazakhstan visited Iveron-St Seraphim Convent in Almaty. They prayed at the monastery’s St Sophia Church and visited St Matrona of Moscow Church, where daily monastic services are held and the psalter is read daily, where they met with Abbess Liubov (Yakushkina). Metropolitan Alexander and the other archpastors then laid the foundation for a chapel dedicated to St Seraphim of Sarov.
That evening, a reception was given at the premises of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Almaty, hosted by the Head of the Metropoliate District of Kazakhstan in honor of the delegation which brought the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to Kazakhstan.