Patriarch Kirill, who is on a 10-day visit of Ukraine, has arrived in the Crimean city of Simferopol. Greeting the patriarch’s motorcade on the streets that ran from the airport to downtown Simferopol were members of the Russian community and the “Russian God” party and representatives of Crimean Cossacks. Dozens of Russian flags flew high along the patriarch’s route and near the St.Trinity Cathedral, where he headed for a short prayer by the relics of Saint Luke.
Sisters from St.Trinity Convent welcomed Patriarch Kirill by laying a carpet of fragrant Crimean herbs and rose petals on all paths on the territory of the convent. A choir of several hundred chanted “Our Patriarch – Kirill” and there were representatives of Crimean authorities present at the welcoming ceremony.
Unity and peace made the core of the patriarch’s speech with which he addressed the congregation on ending the prayer.
"I came to Crimea to pray together with you asking the Lord to grant us all peace and strength of soul, so that He become our hope and so that Our Lady intercede for us and grant us protection".
His Holiness also emphasized the significance of the Orthodox heritage of the Crimea region. In the 9th century AD, the co-inventor of the Slavic alphabet St Cyril was on a missionary visit there. In the 10th century, St Vladimir of Kiev received baptism on Crimean soil.
The Patriarch and the St Trinity Convent exchanged gifts. The Convent received a precious icon, and the Moscow Patriarchate, a fragment of the holy relics of the 20th-century Russian Saint Father Luke Voino-Yasenetski, who combined his role as Archbishop of Crimea with successful work as a surgeon.
The Patriarch sanctified the dome crosses of the Cathedral of St Alexander Nevski, rebuilt in 2003 after 80 years in rubble. The old building was completed in 1881, almost 100 years after being laid down by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
Source:The Voice of Russia