International Orthodox Christian News

On December 3-5 the Most Blessed Volodymyr, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine was on the pilgrim journey to Greece. He was accompanied by Deputy Abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Archbishop Pavel of Vyshgorod, Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary Archbishop Anthony of Boryspil, Secretary to the Primate of the UOC Bishop Alexander of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi, Secretary of the Kyiv Metropolis protopriest Vitaly Kosovsky, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC Archimandrite Cyril (Hovorun), official of the same Department protopriest Valery Kravets, archdeacon Evgeny Radzikhovsky and some laymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On December3-4 a part of the pilgrim group with Archbishop Pavel at the head visited the Monastery of St. Panteleimon at the Holy Mount of Athos. At that time another group of pilgrims bowed unto the shrines of Salonika. There His Beatitude met with Council General of Ukraine in Salonika S.O. Shutenko to whom he handed in the jubilee order "1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus".

On December 4 the group flew to the island of Kerkira (Corfu). Next day in the morning the Ukrainian pilgrims bowed unto the relics of the Holy Hierarch Spyridon of Tremithous. At the Cathedral where the relics rest the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was met by Metropolitan Nectarios of Kerkira, who personally led the guests to the holy relics.

Having bowed unto the relics, the pilgrims were invited to dinner by Metropolitan Nectarios. At that time they were informed on the repose of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. On the instance Metropolitan Nectarios and Metropolitan Volodymyr officiated the Office for the Dead (Litia) for the departed patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. At the end of the meeting His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr awarded Metropolitan Nectarios with jubilee order "1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus".

After dinner the group of pilgrims flew to the Athens. At the airport they were met Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in Greece V.I Tsibukh and archimandrite Prokopios Petridis, co-worker of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece. They accompanied the guests to the residence of the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Greece. Archbishop Hieronymos II of Athens and All Greece personally met His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine at the hall of his residence. He greeted the pilgrims on the arrival to the land of Greece and warmly recalled his visit to Kyiv at the celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Rus. On behalf of the Orthodox Church of Greece he expressed condolence on the death of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II.

Having visited the Archbishop of Athens' office, the pilgrims headed to the Ukrainian Embassy in Greece. The Primate if the Ukrainian Orthodox Churchblessed the premises of the Embassy after the repairs made there. He also handed the jubilee order "1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus" to the Ambassador of Ukraine and the Counsel to Ambassador of Ukraine T.M. Malyshevsky. .

On December 5, in the evening the group of pilgrims returned to Ukraine.


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