Canonization of Two New Saints by the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On Tuesday, November 27, 2013, the Sacred and Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided the formal inclusion in the List of Saints of the Orthodox Church of elder Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia and of venerable Meletios of Lardos.

  • Feast Day of Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia: December 2nd.
  • Feast Day of Saint Meletios of Lardos: February 12th.

Construction of first Orthodox church in Strasbourg begins

On December 7, 2013, on Saturday, feast-day of Holy Great-Martyr Catherine, on the parcel of land assigned by the city of Strasbourg for the Russian Orthodox Church on the Boussingault Street on the bank of the canal de la Marne in the quarter 15, a prayer service for the beginning of the construction work was performed, reports Romphea.

"Orthodox Christians of Strasbourg have long been waiting for this moment. Work to obtain administrative authorization went on for several years."

Particle of the Precious Life-giving Cross of the Lord from the Holy City of Jerusalem for the first time in England

On request of Archbishop Gregory (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Archbishop Elysion (Moscow Patriarchate), the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Teophilos of Jerusalem allowed that the great holy shrine of the Christian world be brought to England.

The Holy Cross came on 29 November 2013 at the Greek Cathedral church of All Saints in London. On Saturday, 7 December 2013 at 3 p.m. the Precious Life-giving Cross was delivered to the Russian Orthodox church of the Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple in Manchester. Archbishop Elysion served the rite of supplication with concelebration of Russian clergy and protopresbyter-stavrophor Aleksandar Ilic, parish priest of the Serbian church of Saint John the Baptist in Halifax (Diocese of Britain and Scandinavia). The church was full with faithful  who came to adore the Precious Cross.

Patriarch Kirill awards executives of the Presidential Administration

On December 4, 2013, the Day of the Presentation of Our Lady to the Temple, after the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Assumption, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia presented high church awards to some executives of the Presidential Administration, at the Patriarchal chambers in the Moscow Kremlin.

Mr. Yu. Ushakov, Presidential assistant, and Mr. A. Manzhosin, chief of the Presidential Directorate for Foreign Policy, were awarded the Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov (2nd degree). Mr. V. Nazarenko and Mr. F. Ilyichev, deputy chiefs of the Directorate, were awarded the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh (3d degree). Mr. D. Agafonov, head of a department in the same directorate, was honoured with the Medal of St. Daniel of Moscow.

Thronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On Saturday, November 30, 2013, the Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrated its Thronal Feast, the Feast of St. Andrew, First-Called of the Apostles, at the Patriarchal Church of St. George.

In accordance with the traditional practice of exchanging formal visitations with the Church of Rome, a delegation was sent by His Holiness Pope Francis to attend the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Thronal Feast. The delegation, headed by Kurt Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, arrived on Thursday, November 28, 2013. After being received by His All-Holiness on Friday morning, official conversations took place between the members of the delegation and the Synodal Committee for Dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, whereafter the delegation also visited the Holy Theological School of Halki.