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In the evening of February the 14th, 2016, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia arrived from Havana, Cuba, to the Republic of Paraguay’s capital city of Asuncion.

At Silvio Pettirossi airport, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was welcomed by Paraguay’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Eladio Loizaga, Russia’s Ambassador N. Tavdumadze, Bishop Leonid of Argentina and South America, and representatives of the Roman Catholic Church in Paraguay and other officials.

Patriarch Kirill addressed the welcoming party and the mass media reporters, saying, ‘I am very glad to step in the land of Paraguay. It is a country with which Russian people link many things. There is a great distance between our two countries, but this distance was closed in their time by those who had to leave Russia to find a new homeland here, in this country. Visiting Paraguay, I will remember these people in the first place and will pray at their graves.

However, I also think about the present and the future. Russia and Paraguay are countries with very strong Christian tradition. It means we have many things in common, both in our minds and hearts. And God grant that this common moral spiritual potential may work for the good of people today. May the Lord preserve Paraguay!’

On February 15, the Day of the Meeting of Our Lord, Patriarch Kirll will celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the church of the Protecting Veil of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia’s diocese of Caracas and South America. His Holiness also will meet with the president of the country and visit the Russian plot at the city cemetery to pray for the dead.

Patriarchal Press Service

DECR Communication Service

Photos by the Patriarchal Press Service