Metropoltan Hilarion venerates shrines in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and celebrates Liturgy at the Lord’s Sepulcher
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR), has continued his pilgrimage to the Holy Land he is making with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
On January 9, he visited the church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God built at Her tomb at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Gethsemane.
His Eminence venerated the shrines in the Russian convent of St. Mary Magdalene, among them the miracle-working Icon of Our Lady ‘Hodegetria’ and the honourable relics of Protomatyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and Sister Varvara who were murdered near Alapaevsk in 1918.
In the convent, the hierarch was welcomed by the head of the Ecclesiastical Mission of the Russian Church Outside Russia, Archimandrite Roman (Krasovsky) and the mother superior of the convent Sister Elizabeth (Shmelts) with sisters. Metropolitan Hilarion attended a thanksgiving at the relics of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and Sister Varvara in the church of St. Mary Magdalene.
His Eminence also visited the Catholic Church of All Nations built in Gethsemane in 1924.
Then Metropolitan Hilarion ascended the Mount of Olives to visit the Chapel of the Lord’s Ascension.
During his visit to the Convent of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives (Russian Church Outside Russia), His Eminence was greeted by Archimandrite Roman and Mother Superior Varvara (Novikova) with the sisters. The convent church is famous for its 60 m-high belfry called ‘Russian Candle’. This belfry is still the tallest point in Jerusalem. In the convent, there is also the place of the First and Second Founding of the head of St. John the Baptist and the stone on which the Mother of God is believed to stand during the Lord’s Ascension. Among the venerated shrines are the Icons of the Mother of God ‘Swift to Hearken’ and ‘In Search of the Perishing’ and parts of the relics of Russian saints.
In the Judaean Desert in the West Bank, there is a Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified, built in 484. It was the next point in Metropolitan Hilarion’s pilgrimage. Its main shrines are the honourable relics of its founder and the tomb and caves of St. John Damascene.
Later that day, the archpastor came to Bethlehem, where he venerated the place of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
On the night from January 9 to 10, His Eminence and Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis (Orthodox Church of Jerusalem) celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They were assisted by Archimandrite Alexander (Uelisov), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, and clergy of the Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Moscow and Romania.
DECR Communication Service
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