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An official pilgrims’ delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church has arrived on Holy Mount Athos for the commemoration day of the Protomartyr and Healer Panteleimon, the holy patron of the Russian Monastery of St. Panteleimon.

By the Holy Synod decision the delegation included Metropolitan Ignaty of Vologda and Kirillov (head of the delegation), Bishop Clement of Irpen and S. Monakhov, a staff member of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR).

Upon their arrival on Mount Athos, the delegation visited the Protos Administration where they were received by the Protoepistas Father Paul and members of the Holy Epistasia, the body that exercises executive power on Athos. Participating in the meeting was also Hieromonk Kirion (Olkhovik), representatives of the St. Panteleimon Monastery to the Holy Community, the governing body of Athos.

Metropolitan Ignaty and Bishop Clement informed the Holy Epistasia members about the situation of the Orthodox Church in Russia and Ukraine and answered their questions. Discussing the situation in Ukraine, Metropolitan Ignaty said that the whole Russian Orthodox Church prayed for peace and termination of bloodshed in Ukraine. Speaking on behalf of the Holy Community, Father Paul said that prayers for the restoration of peace in Ukraine are lifted up in all the monasteries on Holy Mountain.

Father Paul also noted that the Holy Community set up a special commission for preparing the celebrations to mark next year the millennium of the Russian monasticism on Athos. On June 17, 2013, the commission members were received by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. On the same day, a regular joint meeting of representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Holy Community special commission took place at the DECR. Father Paul expressed the conviction that these joint meetings would help prepare the millennium celebrations in a more productive way.

Later that day, the pilgrims delegation venerated several Athonite shrines and returned to the St. Panteleimon Monastery for the festive liturgy in honour of St. Panteleimon.

This year, over 500 pilgrims came to the Russian monastery on Mount Athos for the St. Panteleimon Day from Greece, Russia, Ukraine Georgia, Serbia and other countries.

DECR Communication Service