June 5, 2013
On June 4, 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia arrived at the Russian Monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mount Athos. At the monastery gates, His Holiness was welcomed by the abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Jeremiah, and the monastic community.
To the sound of bells, His Holiness and his delegation proceeded to the church in which he celebrated a thanksgiving. Then Patriarch Kirill venerated the honourable relics of the Holy Protomartyr and Healer Panteleimon.
Addressing the abbot and the brethren, His Holiness said in particular,
‘I would like to wholeheartedly thank the Father Hegumen and the dear brethren for their pastoral care of the pilgrims who come from Holy Russia and all the countries our Church has in her pastoral care. Pilgrims from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and other countries and our flock from far-abroad countries – all come to the shrines of Holy Mount Athos to find spiritual comfort here.
‘Many of you know and those who do not know feel in their hearts how important are things happening in the world and in our country today, how important it is today to strengthen Orthodoxy in people’s souls, to help them realize that it is only reliance on the word of God and the power of the faith that will make it possible to solve problems facing man, without sinning, which means combining concern for material welfare, which is the nature of both people and countries, with concern for salvation and eternal life.
Holy Mount Athos bears a special spiritual mission including towards the peoples of historical Russia. Being thousands of kilometres away from us, you participate in the religious revival of our people. Please, take care of the pilgrims, because every good word pronounced here echoes in people’s minds and hearts, while a careless word or disregard echo with bitterness and sadness. Yours is the great mission of participation of the rebirth of Holy Russia’.