A delegation of the Russian Church Abroad is making its seventh pilgrimage to the holy sites of Russia. Over the course of 15 days, they will visit Moscow, Kaluga, Maloyaroslavsk, Elets, Zadonsk, Tula, Voronezh, Ryazan, Optina Hermitage, Diveevo, Pskov, Murom, St Petersburg and other cities.
Priest George Vinsky of St Archangel Michael Church in Philaelphia, PA, said “The Lord has blessed us to make this pilgrimage to the holy sites of Russia, and to be here in the monastery of St Tikhon of Zadonsk. We thank everyone who made this possible.”
After divine services, the First Hierarch addressed His Eminence Metropolitan Nikon of Lipetsk and Zadonsk and all those in attendance with words of gratitude:
“With all my heart, I thank you, dear Vladyka, that I am able to celebrate Divine Liturgy in this holy place, which preserve the relics of St Tikhon of Zadonsk. This holy man of God is known and loved abroad. His spiritual works have been translated into various languages, including English. I remember how 9 years ago I visited this monastery for the first time, when renovations were in progress. Today, my soul rejoices that the monastery is like new, and spiritual life is settling in. Many find peace here, edification in their faith. The aim of our visit is that of pilgrims, we have some 30 people from various parishes of the diaspora who are visiting the holy sites of Russia. Zadonsk is one of the points on our long itinerary . Among our pilgrims are the newly-converted, people who have come to Orthodoxy from Protestantism or other faiths. They attended today’s services, they partook of the Holy Gifts and venerated the holy relics here. We all wish you, Vladyko, good health in carrying out your archpastoral services for many years.”
In response, Vladyka Nikon told the visitors about Zadonsk Monastery, and gave them an icon of St Tikohn of Zadonsk and a book on local ascetics, With the Cross and Gospel.