On 29 July 2016, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, who is currently in Slovenia with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, visited the Cathedral of Ss Cyril and Methodius, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Enlighteners of the Slavs. The church built in 1940 underwent major repairs in 2011, with the Embassy of Russia in Slovenia taking an active part in it.
At the church gates the DECR chairman was met by Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana and clerics of his metropolia. Metropolitan Hilarion proceeded to the church wherein a thanksgiving was said.
After the prayer service Metropolitan Porfirije warmly greeted the high guest and reminded those present that the year 2016 marks the centenary of the Russian Chapel of the Holy Prince Vladimir built at the Vršič Pass to commemorate the Russian prisoners of war who had died there during the First World War.
Metropolitan Porfirije noted that the arrival of Metropolitan Hilarion in Slovenia for the celebrations at the Vršič Pass, as well as the participation of the Russian leadership in the commemorative events “will help preserve the memory of the enormous sacrifice that the freedom-loving Russian people… made for the sake of others while struggling for peace and truth not only here, in Slovenia, but also in Serbia and in many other places.”
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk cordially greeted all those present on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, saying in particular:
“I have come to Slovenia with the blessing of His Holiness to take part in the commemorative events in honour of the Russian prisoners of war who had been buried in an avalanche at the Vršič Pass. It occurred one hundred years ago. By our prayers, we would also like to pay tribute to all the Russian soldiers who had laid down their lives in the Balkans while defending freedom and independence of the Balkan countries.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to visit Slovenia and your cathedral again and to meet with your flock which also includes the Russian-speaking people. I want to wish you, Your Eminence, God’s help in your important ministry that you carry out with the blessing of the Supreme Authority of the Serbian Orthodox Church. I wish peace and prosperity to all the people of Slovenia.”
DECR Communication Service
Photo by the Press Service of the Zagreb-Ljubljana metropolia