Press-Service of the Head of the Government of the Republic of Karelia
Meetings on the Island of Valaam
On 10-11 July Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Alexii II visited Valaam island and Savior-Transfiguration Valaamsky Monastery, which is directly ruled by him. The visit was timed for the Memory Day of the Holy miracle-workers, Reverend Sergii and German, the founders of the monastery. This is the tenth Patriarch's trip to the island. The first two were made when he was a child, in 1938 and 1939.
Patriarch was greeted by the Head of the Government RK Sergey Katanandov with his spouse, the deputies of the State Duma from the Republic of Karelia Valentina Pivnenko and Arthur Myaki, the chairmen of the Houses of the Legislative Assembly Nickolai Levin and Vladimir Shilnikov, the members of the Government of the Republic of Karelia and the administration of the local power body of the town of Sortavala.
Among the honored guests were the plenipotentiary representative of the President of Russian Federation in Central Federal District Georgy Poltavchenko, the governor of St. Petersburg Vladimir Yakovlev, the governor of Leningrad oblast Valery Serdyukov, the mayor of Nizhny Novgorod Yury Lebedev and other officials.
On July 10 Holy Patriarch served a public prayer in Savior-Transfiguration cathedral near the relics shrine of Reverend Sergii and German and the liturgy for the repose of the souls of the dead at the Igumensky graveyard of the monastery, where the tombs of Fathers Superiors are located. Then the first stone was put to build the administrative building of the monastery. At night Alexii II headed the all-night vigil in the temple.
On July 11 Patriarch served the Divine liturgy and took part in the religious procession around Valaamsky cloister.
More than a thousand of pilgrims took part in the event.
In the course of the meetings Patriarch expressed his gratitude to the Head of the Government of the Republic of Karelia Sergey Katanandov for taking active part in the revival of the cloister.
Sergey Katanandov highlighted that he as the head of the republic and as a member of the Council of Federation pays great attention to adopting at the federal level the program " Revival and development of the Valaam archipelago". The project will last for 10 years. It includes cathedral restoration, repairing of the temples and moving people to the continent. The cost of the project is 500 mln rubles..
The program is not approved by the Federal Government yet but it is supposed to be supported by Russian orthodox church.
The Petrozavodsk official delegation visited the local school, hospital, kindergarten, and then the concert at the local House of culture. All musical genres were represented there - from classical music and ballet to jazz and folk dances. The performance was prepared by amateur groups of adults and children.
The head of the Government thanked the artists for their beautiful performance and delivered souvenirs and gifts to children.
Sergey Katanandov promised that he would devote his attention to the Valaam problems but he considers
that a lot depends on the local residents and their contribution to the development of the island.
The photos by Alexander Sokolov