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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has visited Moldova

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia paid his primatial visit to Moldova on October 8-10, 2011.

The official delegation that accompanied His Holiness included Metropolitan Varsonofiy of Saransk and Mordovia chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External  Church Relations (DECR); Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; Vladimir Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Information Department; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman; archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; protodeacon Vladimir Nazarkin, assistant to the DECR chairman; Yevgeniy Parkhayev, general director of the “Sofrino” Artistic Production Enterprise of the Russian Orthodox Church; and M. Kuksov, acting head of the Patriarch’s personal secretariat.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was met at the airport in Kishinev by Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishinev and All Moldova; Moldovan acting president and president of parliament Marian Lupu; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Moldova V. Kuzmin; and clerics of the Orthodox Church of Moldova.

From the airport His Holiness proceeded to the Kishinev Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ where he prayed at the Gerbovets Icon of the Mother of God.

On October 9, the commemoration day of the demise of St. John the Theologian and the commemoration day of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Kishinev central square of the Great National Assembly.

After the divine service, His Holiness visited the Eternitate Memorial in the centre of Kishinev and laid a wreath at the monument to the soldiers who died in action during the Great Patriotic War fighting for the liberation of Moldova and addressed the veterans and soldiers who have gathered at the monument.

On Sunday, October 10, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill was honoured the highest award of Moldova – the Order of the Republic, in a solemn ceremony at the Palace of the Republic in Kishinev. The Moldovan acting president and president of the parliament Marian Lupu presented the award.

His Holiness laid flowers at the monument of Stephen II the Great and visited the Institute of Oncology in Kishinev.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church performed the Office of Lesser Blessing of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin at the monastery in the village of Kurki after a stopover in the village of Peresechino, where he talked with the believers in the Church of St. John the Theologian.

While in the monastery in Kurki, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had a talk with the former head of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin.

Towards the end of his visit, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church answered question of the Moldovan and Romanian journalists.

His Holiness was seen off at the airport by Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishinev and All Moldova, hierarchs of clergymen of the Orthodox Church of Moldova.