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On May 27, 2016, after the thanksgiving at the Protatis Cathedral of the Dormition, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with members of the Mount Athos Holy Kinot.

The Holy Kinot includes representatives of 20 monasteries on Athos, elected annually each by his monastery.

His Holiness was accompanied by members of the official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Apostolos of Mileta, speaking on behalf of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, greeted the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church with words of welcome and wishes of a good stay on Mount Athos during his pilgrimage.

The Governor of Athos, Aristos Kasmiroglou, greeted Patriarch Kirill on behalf of the Greek State.

Hieromonk Jeronymos, a member of the Holy Kinot and representative of the Simonpetra Monastery, in his speech, pointed to the truly universal nature of the Holy Mountain monkhood, as its spirituality attracted people like a powerful spiritual magnet… Multitudes of pious pilgrims used to flow to Athos, thirsty for unity with God… All this has formed our common spiritual tradition, which could not be shaken by various historical upheavals or unfavorable circumstances. This common tradition is reconfirmed today by your pilgrimage to us’.

In his address to the Kinot, the Primate of the Russian Church thanked His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew for the hospitality and the governor of Athos for his kind words. He said that the main factor that ties Russia and Greece together is the Orthodox faith, through which the two nations have preserved fraternal relations in various periods of history.

The Universal Orthodoxy, he said, has its own shrine. It is Mount Athos. ‘It is the stronghold and beacon with its own unique way of spiritual life, with its own quiet, with its own hospitality’.

Speaking about Russia, His Holiness said, ‘Today, the Church of Holy Rus’, too, having survived a severe historical period in her life, is growing quantitatively and spiritually. With the remarkable opportunity for visiting Mount Athos and coming in touch with its shrines, our faithful draw wonderful grace-giving gifts from this precious source. We rejoice in this opportunity for hosting Athonites and coming here, to Holy Mouth Athos… We believe that the spiritual links of Rus’, the Russian Church and Athos cannot be shaken whatever hardships we may confront. The history of the 20th century shows that it is so’.

The Kinot presented His Holiness with an icon of our Saviour.

In his turn, Patriarch Kirill presented the Holy Kinot with an icon of Our Lady ‘Assuage My Sorrow’.

Patriarchal Press Service

DECR Communication Service

Photos by Father Igor Palkin