St. Vladimir's Cathedral in St. Petersbug Opens After Restoration, First in 225 Years

One of the largest and most known churches in St Petersburg, the St. Vladimir cathedral has opened after a a major restoration, the first since the commissioning of the edifice 225 years ago.

Also on Sunday, an episcopal liturgy was held in the cathedral to close out the St. Petersburg part of the festivities for the 1,000th anniversary since the death of Vladimir the Duke of Kiev, who baptized the early medieval kingdom of Kievan Rus in 988.

"The were no redecorations in the cathedral from the time of its opening and it has undergone restoration for the first time," a spokesman for the St Petersburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church told TASS.

"This is one of the few churches in this city that has never been closed, although four attempts were made in the 1930's to close it down," he said.

Greetings of Metropolitan Hilarion to Metropolitan Amfilohije on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his episcopal consecration and the 25th anniversary of his election to the See of Cetinje

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent a message of greetings to Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and Primorje.

Monk Wins The Voice TV Singing Contest in Russia

An Orthodox Christian monk has defeated all competitors to win first place in The Voice of Russia reality TV singing contest.

Hieromonk Photy Mochalov, 30, a priest and monk of the St.-Pafnutiy Monastery in Borovsk, an area southwest of Moscow, has won the Russian franchise of famous television singing contest, The Voice. The finals were broadcast live on TV Channel One late Friday.

Patriarch Kirill greets Metropolitan Amfilohije with the 30th anniversary of his episcopal consecration and the 25th anniversary of his election to the See of Cetinje

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent greetings to Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and Primorje, a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the occasion of two memorable dates in his life. The text of the message is given below.

Your Eminence, dear Vladyka,

Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on the 30th anniversary of your episcopal consecration and the 25th anniversary of your election to the See of Cetinje.

You were carrying out your archpastoral ministry aimed at reviving the church life in Montenegro at a rather difficult time when the Orthodox people in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as in other parts of Serbia, were enduring great sufferings.

Katskhi Pillar Partially Rehabilitated

The National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation, in their 2015 program, restored one of the monastery buildings of Katskhi Pillar.

Katskhi pillar is a natural limestone monolith located in Imereti, Western Georgia, and was listed among the most bizarre looking churches in the world.