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On 15 November 2014, His Holiness Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia visited the Russian Necropolis in Belgrade, the largest burial place where Russian soldiers of the First World War repose.

The Primates laid flowers to the monument, and ‘Memory Eternal’ was sung.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill offered a prayer for the renovation of the chapel of the Iveron icon of the Mother of God in the territory of the cemetery. The chapel, in which Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) is buried, was built in 1931 by the Russian emigrants in commemoration of the chapel of the same name located at the entrance to Moscow’s Red Square.

After Litia, which was celebrated for the soldiers who died during World War I, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed the worshippers. He thanked all those who worked for the restoration of the memorial cemetery. This is a special place; this is the largest cemetery in Europe, where participants in the Great War are buried, and where the monument to the Emperor Nicholas II stands in spite of all difficult circumstances of the 20th century. He did not abandon the Serbian people and decided to enter the terrible war.

‘It is remarkable that the time has come when the heroes of this war are commemorated not only in Serbia, but in Russia as well. The monument to them was unveiled in Moscow this year.

‘This year marks the centenary of this war, and I am happy to see the renovated cemetery and thank all people who participated in the restoration of the necropolis, which a monument to heroism of Russian soldiers who had given their live for Faith, Tsar and Fatherland. This is also a remarkable monument to friendship and brotherhood of the Serbian and Russian people. While we keep and renovate the monuments, we renovate our historical memory and our feelings to each other. May the Lord bless Russia and Serbia, our people and our Churches.’

The Primates of the Russian and Serbian Churches laid flowers to the monument to the Serbian soldiers of World War I and sang ‘Memory Eternal.’