Mt. Athos, May 28, 2016
The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia arrived on Friday to St. Panteleimon Monastery on the holy mountain of Athos, reports a correspondent of AgionOros.ru.
The path of the Patriarch from the gates of the monastery to the cathedral church was strewn with laurel branches.
The arrival of His Holiness the Patriarch to St. Panteleimon Monastery was heralded by the festive ringing of the bells.
The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church served a Moleben and thanked all who helped revive anew the monastery,
“Every time I’m on Mt. Athos it’s as if you’re touching the centuries-old podvig of people who devoted themselves to prayer, contemplation, and labor. Here this prayer is combined with the podvig of seclusion. I arrived here today with my companions, to celebrate with you the millennium of the Russian presence on the Holy Mountain as enshrined in the documentary sources,” he said.
The Patriarch noted, that during a thousand years on Athos and in Russia a myriad of events transpired, but the enduring spiritual connection between them was never broken. “Here prayer has always ascended to God for our people and our nation, even in the most difficult years of the godless ordeal,” noted the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. He shared his recollections about visiting the monastery in 1971 together with Patriarch Pimen. Then, according to the Patriarch, there were seven monks in all in the monastery, but the feeling that the Russian people and Russian Church were present on this land never left.
“I very much wanted much to celebrate in a special way the millennium, firstly by restoring everything destroyed by fire, time, and people. With special feeling I behold today the Panteleimon monastery restored almost beyond recognition,” Patriarch Kirill added.
He thanked the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and all who labored for the restoration of the Athonite monastery. “All of this great work shows the fervent faith of our people and the warm love towards Athos, and this love finds support here, in the first place in your prayers,” noted the primate, addressing himself to the monks of the monastery.
Welcoming the Patriarch, the abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Jeremiah (Alexin) said: “I am glad to welcome you here. The first commandment of the Lord is to ‘Have love among you,’ and I love you, and remember you in my prayers.”