Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's department for external church relations, arrived in Italy on 14 May 2010.
The welcoming party at the Bologna airport included Archimandrite Mark Davitti, rector of the ROC church of St. Basil the Great, Hegumen Philip Vasiltsev of the church of St. Catherine in Rome and Prof. Lino Britto of the University of Bologna.
Accompanied by Archimandrite Mark, Metropolitan Hilarion visited the church of St. Basil the Great, where he was given a warm welcome by the clergy and parishioners.
Ancient icons were discovered on the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya Towers of the Kremlin. They were walled in during Soviet times and have been deemed lost for a long time now. "The fact is that the icons were discovered at least on two towers (of the Kremlin - IF). This is an epoch-making event as far as cultural discoveries are concerned," head of the Council of Trustees of the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation Vladimir Yakunin said at a press conference held by Interfax.
Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople will visit Russia on May 22-31 at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Patriarch Bartholomew will visit Moscow, Sergiyev Posad, the Valaam Monastery and St. Petersburg.
Immediately following the Patriarchal Con-celebration of the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa awarded the highest distinction of the ancient Patriarchate, the Great Cross of the Apostle Mark to His Beatitude Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in the Throne Room of the Patriarchal Mansion. The two primates had met privately prior to this in His Beatitude's Private Patriarchal Office.
On Saturday, May 1, 2010, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided at the service of Great Vespers at the Patriarchal Church in commemoration of Saints who served as Archbishops and Patriarchs of Constantinople. In attendance were Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well as members of the Roman Catholic Focolare Movement.
Source: www.patriarchate.org (Photo by N. Manginas)