Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to Archpastors, Priests, Monastics and the Laity on the Occasion of the 1025th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus
Beloved in the Lord Your Graces the archpastors, all-honourable presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
This year we commemorate a significant event – the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. In the distant tenth century Rus, through the labours of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir, adopted the Christian faith and culture, making a choice of religion and civilization which defined the vector of the historical development of our peoples.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch with his high delegation, during the visit to the Metropolitanate of St. Petersburg, visited on 22 July 2013 the Naval Cathedral of Holy Wonderworker Nicholas of Kronstadt.
The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church toured the Cathedral, as well as lower church of Saint John of Ryla. President of the Commission for monitoring within the Head board of the International charity fund “ Kronstadt Naval Cathedral” A.G. Zahvatov informed His Holiness about restoration works which have been performed since 2009.
On this feast day following Russian and Serbian hierarchs concelebrated to the Patriarch: Metropolitan Vladimir of St. Petersburg and Ladosh, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Bishop Ambrose of Peterhof, Bishop Sava of Voskresensk, Bishop Mstislav of Tikhvin and Lodeynoye Pole, Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Bishop Longin of New Gracanica-Midwestern America, Bishop Irinej of Backa, Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren and Bishop Antonije of Moravica.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will lead the delegation representing the Orthodox Church in America at the celebration of the 1025th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ July 21-31, 2013.
It was in AD 988 that Saint Prince Vladimir of Kyiv embraced Orthodox Christianity and oversaw the mass baptism of his people in the Dnieper River. This year’s anniversary is unique inasmuch as celebrations will be held in Moscow, Kyiv, and Minsk.
His Grace Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus said that he would visit Russia on the occasion of 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of the Rus'
As it was announced, the head of the Church of Cyprus will visit Moscow first, where he will meet with the highest church and state officials. Within the celebration of this jubilee, besides visit to Moscow, His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II plans to visit Ukraine and Belarus as well. There His Beatitude will also meet,along with other heads of the Local Orthodox Churches who are visiting the Russian Orthodox Church, with the highest church and state officials of Ukraine.