On 13 September 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, arrived in Italy on a working visit with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
On Monday 14th September 2015, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa conducted Orthros and the Divine Liturgy, as well as the ceremony of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross at the Holy Patriarchal Church of St Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria, together with His Eminence Gabriel, Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria and His Grace Meletios Bishop of Naukratis.
On Friday, the 29th of August/11th of September 2015, the Patriarchate commemorated the Beheading of John the Baptist at the Monastery dedicated to him, which stands within the Christian quarter and is adjacent to the south of the Church of the Resurrection. An underground Church dated to the 4th c. lies within the Monastery, recently renovated by means of collaboration between the Patriarchate and Cyprus’ Leventis Foundation. Over this ancient church stands another, magnificent new church, its origins dated to the 11th c.
The Rough Fire located in central California has consumed over 103,000 acres. Residents in many communities along its path have been evacuated, included staff at Saint Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center and the adjacent Monastery of the Theotokos the Life Giving Spring. The fire is approximately four miles away from the Ranch and Monastery facilities, located in Dunlap, California, and the air quality is extremely poor and is a health hazard for residents.
The Russian government recently offered to bury the alleged remains of Sts. Alexei and Maria Romanov, the Crown Prince and Grand Duchess of the last royal family of Russia. The remains are currently housed at the Russian State Archives, but could be buried on October 18 in Catherine’s aisle of the Peter and Paul Cathedral at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. Members of the Romanov family have been invited to the ceremony.
In July 1991 a grave with nine bodies was found near Ekaterinburg, with the remains being identified as the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and the Tsaritsa Alexandra, along with their children, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia, and their servants Evgeny Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexey Trupp, and Ivan Kharitonov. Two more remains were discovered in a grave seventy kilometers south on July 26, 2007 which many analysts believe to be the remains of Sts. Alexei and Maria.