June 6, 2013
After the prayer service, hegumen of the monastery, archimandrite Gabriel said to His Holiness: “We are happy to see you standing before the icon of our Mother, the intercessor and protector from any evil, Panagia Gerontissa, which means the Elder… We wish Your Holiness to be always protected by Her in your ministry to the vineyard of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said to the worshippers: “Your renowned monastery is dedicated to the Transfiguration of our Lord and Saviour. Many monastic abodes are dedicated to this feast, for instance, the Valaam Monastery in Russia called the Northern Athos… It is a symbolic fact that St. Gregory Palamas, a theologian and singer of the Light of Tabor, lived in the Monastery of Pantocrator.
“Among the holy objects of the monastery there are a particle of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross and relics of the saints deeply venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church: Ss Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian, Ss Athanasios the Great and Ignatius the Theophoros, Ss Cosmas and Damian, and the Great Martyr Theodoros Stratelatos, heavenly patron of the Russia city of Kostroma, the cradle of the Romanov dynasty.”
Father hegumen presented the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church with a copy of Gerontissa icon of the Mother of God; His Holiness made a gift of an icon of Christ the Saviour painted by Andrei Rublev to the monastery and left the following entry in the distinguished visitors’ book: “May the Lord Pantocrator keep and strengthen the Orthodox faith in human hearts. Monasticism that is growing in its glory in the abodes of the Holy Mount, and in the Monastery of Pantocrator in particular, has been and will be a spiritual firm ground of it. I thank father hegumen and the brethren for hospitality and common prayer.”