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To continue his pilgrimage in the Russian land, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa arrived in the Irkutsk region. The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria was accompanied by Bishop Meletios of Naukratis and Bishop Savva of Voskresensk, First Deputy Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Upon his arrival, His Beatitude Theodoros visited the Limnology Museum of Baikal and went on an excursion over the Circum-Baikal Railway.

On August 25, the Primate of the Church of Alexandria arrived in Irkutsk where he visited the Convent of the “Sign” Icon of the Mother of God and venerated the holy relics of St Innocent, first Bishop of Irkutsk. At the convent, he was greeted by Metropolitan Vadim of Irkutsk and Angarsk who presented the high guest with an icon with a particle of the holy relics of St Innocent.

Responding to the greetings, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros said that during the pilgrimage his first wish had been to visit the Solovki Monastery, and his second wish had been to venerate the relics of St Innocent. “Beloved in the Lord,” he said, “I am holding the holy icon of this saint in my hand. An icon-lamp will always be burning before it. The sight of this icon will always give me hope and inspire love in me. Every time I will begin a new missionary journey I will fall down before this icon, remembering these people who are present here now and praying for the governor and the mayor of this city.”

His Beatitude also visited the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and that same day departed for Yekaterinburg.

On August 26, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros, accompanied by Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, met with Mr. Igor Kholmanskikh, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation to the Urals Federal District. While in Yekaterinburg, the Primate of the Church of Alexandria also visited the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent where he sang in Greek a troparion to the Theotokos together with the nuns and venerated the convent’s shrines and the Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers at Ganina Yama.

To conclude his visit to the Urals, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa visited the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Yekaterinburg. As Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye told the high guest, it was the only functioning church in the region in the period of persecutions. “It is very important for us that today you have directed your apostolic steps here, blessing by your presence this church, which all the faithful of our city regard as a symbol of firmness in faith and God’s miracle-working,” the head of the Yekaterinburg metropolia said.

DECR Communication Service

Based on the reports by

Press Services of the Irkutsk and Yekaterinburg dioceses