Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia will visit Ukraine on July 26 to attend celebrations dedicated the 1020th anniversary of the christening of Rus (Russia), ITAR-TASS informed.

“The patriarch will fly to Ukraine with a pastoral visit in order to visit his numerous flock and to pray together with them,” the secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate’s church relations department, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, said on Wednesday.

He said the main event of the patriarchal visit would be a “liturgy on the da of festivity of Holy Prince Vladimir – the Baptizer of Rus – in the Kiev-Pechera Monastery on July 28.

The liturgy will be read on the square in front of the Assumption Cathedral.

Balashov said the Assembly of Hierarchs that was held in Moscow in June proposed celebrating the event with all solemnity as a day to which Russian Christian Orthodoxy dates back.

“Our great Christian culture began on that day,” Balashov said.

The programme of the patriarch’s visit also includes a liturgy at a monument to Grand Duke Vladimir.

“The divine service is expected to be attended by heads and representatives of all Orthodox churches of the world, “ Balashov said.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Kiev.

“We are hopeful about this meeting, and we want the Kiev celebrations to serve to the consolidation of unity of the world Orthodox family. We are convinced that the church separations that exists in Ukraine can be successfully overcome only on the basis of Orthodox solidarity,” Balashov said.

The Russian patriarch will also visit Donetsk. He will officiate a divine service in the Holy Assumption Monastery on July 30, a festive day of Svyatogorsk icon of the Mother of God.

“This is a very respected sacrament, and many worshipers come to the celebration of it,” Balashov said.


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