“We are very glad to see you and to pray together with you, we very much appreciate everything you do for our country and for all of us,” the patriarch told the president.
Each day prayers are being said at all Orthodox churches for the country’s “authorities, warriors and people,” the patriarch added. “Very many Orthodox Christians are praying for you at this moment,” Patriarch Kirill reassured the president. After the service Putin partook of the Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
No restrictions were imposed on numerous parishioners on account of the president’s attendance of the liturgy. In fact, after the service the head of state joined all other parishioners who lined up for the common bowl.
A church legend has it that the founders of monastic life at Valaam, Saints Sergius and Herman, were Greek monks who came to Veliky Novgorod in the 10th century together with the first Orthodox Christian missionaries.