On July 10, the day before the Day of SS. Sergy and German, founders of monastic life on Valaam, thousands of believers come to the holy archipelago. As a tradition, the previous Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexy II participated in this holiday. His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is keeping up the tradition. Official delegation of the Republic of Karelia has taken part in celebrations led by Sergey Katanandov.
On July 10, in territory of the skete of St. Vladimir of the Valaam Stauropegial Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration there took place the solemn ceremony of opening the museum named after His Holiness, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia prayed before the ceremony. In the primatial word His Holiness has noted:
Ч We open the Valaam Monastery museum where quite recently there was desolation and devastation, and to many people it seemed that memory of the monastery would be preserved only by those who study history, and that this monastery has disappeared from the nation's memory. In recent years the relic has been rendered its former beauty, and, perhaps, has become even better. Then we have felt the need to reproduce tragical history of Valaam in museum expositions. The museum is a true depository of memory, it is a remarkable illustration of what has happened on this long-suffering land.
Head of the Republic of Karelia Sergey Katanandov together with His Holiness have led the museum opening ceremony and have taken a view of the exposition. The bronze bust monument to Alexy II opposite to the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour has been unveiled. Thus, Karelia has become the first subject of the Russian Federation to commemorate memory of Alexy II who loved and revered Valaam.
His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has signified his satisfaction with the level of cooperation between the state and the church developed in Russia:
Ч We use this cooperation for one purpose: for the sake and wellbeing of our people!
Sergey Katanandov has emphasized repeatedly, that he considered it the greatest honour to have an opportunity to participate in the revival of Valaam. Within the past decade Karelia in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church has done a lot for the monastery, and there is no doubt, that without our contribution today Valaam would not have been so well-equipped and beautiful.
Ч Our main task is to cause a response from the person, from his soul, and to open church for the people, Ч Sergey Katanandov has told, Ч not just open this or that temple, but to evoke the person's faith, the belief in God and the Scripture, belief in person's own heart and that with his labour everyone can improve the world.
During his stay on Valaam, Head of the Russian Orthodox Church has also served a low dedication of the church in territory of the military unit deployed on the island. Except for the soldiers and officers of the military unit, the State Duma's vice-speaker Lubov Sliska, Head of the Republic of Karelia Sergey Katanandov and the 6th air defense and air power army commander Lieutenant General Vladimir Sviridov have attended the celebration.
Summing up the visit of the Karelia's delegation to Valaam, Sergey Katanandov has told:
Ч Annually on Valaam we derive our strength and solve tasks which have occured there a while ago. Step by step together with the church, with His Holiness Patriarch we revive Orthodoxy. Many times I said that without belief, without strong will, without morality neither Karelia, nor Russia can survive. These are our main riches. This is our basis Ч a strong person capable of overcoming difficulties, responsible and able to hold the authority accountable, able to respond to a common cause of revival of curches, and, thus, to revive the country. The work conducted on Valaam yields both here, and all over the country.
Press-secretary of the Head of the Republic of Karelia
Photo by Vladimir Larionov