Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
as chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate
department for external church relations
from 1989 to 2009
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia (secular name Vladimir M. Gundyaev) was born on November 20, 1946, in Leningrad. His father, Rev. Mikhail V. Gundyaev, died in 1974. His mother, Raisa V. Gundyaeva, a teacher of German, died in 1984. His elder brother, Archpriest Nikolay Gundyaev, is a professor at St. Petersburg Theological Academy and rector of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in St. Petersburg. His grandfather, Rev. Vasily S. Gundyaev, a Solovki prisoner, was imprisoned and exiled in the 20s, 30s and 40s for his church activity and struggle against Renovationism.
Residents of the Bulgarian port city of Varna have celebrated Christian Family Day with a procession of the cross, carrying copies of two wonder-working icons: “The Queen of All” (“Pantanassa”) Icon of the Mother of God from the Vatopedi Monastery on Holy Mount Athos and the Moldovan Icon of Holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer from the Bulgarian Athonite Zograf Monastery,1 reports Pravoslavie.bg.
On November 23 the Georgian Orthodox Church celebrated the St. George’s (Giorgob) Day. Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer is venerated as patron-saint of the Georgian people and is particularly loved in Georgia.
Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church commemorated Saint Alexander Nevsky on Sunday, as well as the 90th anniversary since the inauguration and sanctification of the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which is a symbol of the Bulgarian capital city Sofia and of Bulgaria, on Sunday, November 23.
There was a solemn service at the Cathedral, scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.It was serviced by Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria.
In the mid-2000s, the Russian State Library (RSL) launched the National Electronic Library project with the aim of digitizing books published before 1831.
Many important texts have already been scanned; from the hand-written Archangel Gospel of 1092 – the fourth oldest known East Slavonic manuscript – to the Octoechos, a book of Orthodox Church psalms printed in 1491 in Krakow. It is one of the first books to use Cyrillic script and is worth several million dollars – although, of course, it belongs to the state and will not be sold. “These books only used to be released by special permission – and only then to prominent scholars,” explains Tatyana Garkushova from the library’s scanning department as she flicks between priceless ancient manuscripts on her computer screen. Now they are available to everyone at the RSL Digital Library page.