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On March 17, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians visited the Russian Orthodox Parish of the Intercession in the Kanaker district, Yerevan.

Patriarch Kirill said a brief prayer at the church and addressed the parishioners and compatriots who congregated for the occasion. Among those who came to meet the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church were servicemen from 102nd Russian Military Base deployed in Gyumri.

His Holiness awarded the benefactors who were actively involved in the reconstruction of the church. Mr. Ye. Gladunchik, general director of the Armenian Electricity Network, was decorated with the Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov and Mr. V. Khrulev, Russian General Consul in Armenia with the Order of St. Daniel of Moscow. In recognition of their contribution to the revival of the Russian military cemetery and construction of the Russian-Armenian Friendship Arch at the Hill of Honor in Gyumri, Mr. V. Gukasian was awarded the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh.

His Holiness Kirill gave an icon of Our Lady of Kazan to the church and small icons of the Saviour Not-Made-With-Hands with his blessing to the parishioners.

Catholicos Karekin II, who spoke next, presented the church with an icon of Our Lady of Vladimir made by Armenian icon-painters.

The two church leaders were welcomed by the rector of the church, Archpriest Arseny Grigorian. He presented the Patriarch with icon-lamps decorated with semi-precious stones and the Catholicos with an icon of the Annunciation, the patriarch press service has reported.

His Holiness Kirill is accompanied on his trip by Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, father superior of St. Sergius’s Laura of the Holy Trinity, Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s administrative secretariat, Mr. V. Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Information Department, and Hegumen Philip, DECR vice-chairman.

The Church of the Intercession is the main church of the Russian Orthodox Church in Armenia. It was built across the barracks of the Cossack troops which had been deployed in Yerevan since the victory in the Russian-Persian war in 1828. At present, it stations one of the Russian military bases.

The church was closed in the Soviet times to be used first as a warehouse and later as a regimental club. Divine services were resumed in it in 1991. In 2004, the reconstructed church re-acquired a cupola and a belfry.