His Holiness Patriarch Alexy visits the Storozhevsky Monaster of St. Savva

The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the liturgy and conducted a prayer service at the relics of St. Savva at the Sorozhevsky Monastery of St. Savva, on April 9, 2006, the fifth Sunday of Lent. He was assisted during the service at the monastery’s Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God by Bishop Alexander of Dmitrov. Among the worshippers were Odintsovo Governor A. Gladyshev and Zvenigorod Mayor L. Stqavitsky.

Addressing the congregation, His Holiness said in particular, “After a year and a half, I am delighted to see this holy cloister again, now in all its beauty. I look mentally back on the condition in which the monastery was not long ago. I remember the first prayer service we celebrated in this church. There was no iconostasis here; everything around was devastated. But the people of God had a great desire to revive the monastery. This dream came true on the day of the 600th anniversary of the monastery when St. Savva’s honorable head came back to the church. This shrine, we believe, has helped to resume monastic life within these walls and to restore the beauty for which the monastery was famous before”.

The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church spoke about his first visit to the monastery in 19973. “That trip to the Zvenigorod monastery left very painful impressions. There used to be a museum there. Among its exhibits were remains of the carving of the cathedral iconostasis which was presented to the monastery by Czar Alexis Mikhailovich. It was difficult even to imagine at that time that the spiritual revival of this monastery was possible, and it became a reality in the late 20th-early 21st century. We believe it has been made possible by God’s mercy and through the intercession of St. Savva of Storozhka, whose honorable head has returned to its dwelling place after decades of staying in the hands of devout people who have preserved this shrine”.

His Holiness granted the acting father superior of the monastery, Hegumen Savva Fateyev, the right to wear a club and a decorated cross. He also gave patriarchal awards to benefactors who helped to revive St. Savva’s monastery.