On 31 March 2014, archpriest Nikolai Balashov, vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with H.E. Slavenko Terzić, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia to the Russian Federation.
The participants in the meeting discussed various developments in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church and inter-Orthodox relations.
On 31 March 2014, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East received in his residence in Balamand, Lebanon, a delegation of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), led by its chairman Mr. Sergei Stepashin, the website of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Beirut reports.
His Beatitude Patriarch John cordially thanked the head of the IOPS for the humanitarian aid which the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society has been rendering to the suffering Syrian people.
The airplanes were given the names of Sts. Alexander Nevsky Dmitry Donskoy, and Mercury of Smolensk.
For the first time, three MiG-29 aircraft were blessed at the “Erebuni” airport in Yerevan, Armenia. This took place on March 14, following the return of the aircraft from repair work.
Syrian Ambassador Riad Haddad said that 98 Christian churches were partly or entirely destroyed during the military conflict in the country, its property was stolen.
At the same time, 1900 mosques, 1600 schools, 60% of Syrian hospitals were partly or entirely destroyed, all medical equipment was stolen, Haddad said at his meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, the State Council Chairman, Crimean Parliament Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksionov and the city of Sevastopol executive Alexey Chaly have signed an agreement on the inclusion of Crimea, including Sevastopol, into Russia on the day when the Orthodox Church commemorates the finding of the relics of the peninsula heavenly protector Archbishop Luka (Voyno-Yasenetsky).
On these days all churches and monasteries of the Crimean Diocese uplifted prayers before the icon of Archbishop Luka for multiplying love and peace on the peninsula.
Archbishop Luka (born Valentin Felixovich Voyno-Yasenetsky) was born in Kerch in 1877. After graduation from the higher school he decided that he should be involved only the activities “useful for suffering people,” and chose medicine and later became a priest.
On Monday, the 4th/17th of March 2014, the memory of St Gerasimus of the Jordan was celebrated by the Patriarchate at the Monastery founded by him in the desert of the West Bank of the river Jordan.
The monastery was founded by HosiosGerasimus in 451 AD, after he arrived to the Holy Land from his birthplace of Lycia in Asia Minor, and after having dwelt in Monasteries and hermitages of Palestine with HosiosEuthymius the Great and HosiosKyriakos the Recluse.