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On October 8, 2017, when the Church remembers the passing away of St. Sergius the Abbot of Radonezh and Wonderworker of All Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR), with the blessing of his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, presided over the Divine Liturgy at the church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in the St. Sergius Laura of the Holy Trinity.

After the Prayer of Fervent Supplication, Metropolitan Hilarion lifted up a prayer for peace in Ukraine.

In the sermon after the liturgy, His Eminence spoke about St. Luke’s account of the words the Saviour said to Peter and other apostles, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people’ (Lk. 5:10). This is how the Church of Christ began with a group of ordinary fishermen and continues to grow to this day and will live to the end of time’.

His Eminence spoke about many generations of martyrs and confessors who by their feats showed their faithfulness to Christ the Saviour. Among those who performed the feat of asceticism was St. Sergius who retired from the world to not fish people by to save his own soul. People heard about his asceticism and came to him to perform the same feat. Gradually his verbal flock began to grow.

‘Today thousands of people have gathered together in the St. Sergius Laura of the Trinity, coming from various cities and countries. We glorify our honorable and God-bearing Father Sergius as the abbot of the Russian land whose name is associated with the revival of monastic life in the hardest period of our Russian history. We pray to him today that the Lord may preserve our Russian land in the Orthodox faith and that the divine net may catch those who are called by God to salvation and eternal life’.

After the liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and all the archpastors who celebrated at the Laura’s churches walked in a procession with the cross and the venerated icon of St. Sergius to the Laura’s square in which the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church presided over a thanksgiving.

Then His Holiness Kirill addressed the faithful from the balcony of the Patriarchate chambers.

DECR Communication Service