Moscow Patriarch wraps up Cyprus visit
PATRIARCH of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill Gundyaev met President Demetris Christofias in the presidential palace yesterday prior to his departure later in the day.
Gifts were exchanged during the one-hour meeting at 1.30pm. The Patriarch presented Christofias with a relief depicting the baptism of Christ and received a silver replica of the crucifixion.
The Patriarch also attended a luncheon hosted in Nicosia in his honour by Archbishop Chrysostomos II prior to the meeting.
The Patriarch also received a grand reception from the Ayia Napa Municipality, and Mayor Antonis Tsokkos presented him with a souvenir of the picture of Virgin of Ayia Napa.
Arriving at the monastery, he was welcomed with applause and cheers from a number of believers, mainly of Russian and Cypriot descent, who attended the event to receive the Primate’s blessing.
Students offered flowers and recited a poem by George Seferi, translated into Russian. Before leaving Ayia Napa the Patriarch visited the church of Our Lady.
On Sunday he held a joint service with Archbishop Chrysostomos at Ayia Sofia church in Nicosia.
Addressing the Russian Patriarch, Chrysostomos said Cyprus was looking forward to Russia's support for the restoration of justice in Cyprus, adding that ''we will never compromise with injustice no matter how much time passes.''
On his part, Kirill said: “The Lord will offer the much-awaited peace, restore the united state of Cyprus and give back to the Cypriot Church the churches which for the time being are inaccessible.”
In his address, Chrysostomos recalled that Cyprus has always looked forward to the support of Orthodox Russia, adding that the support of Russia became substantive during the Turkish invasion of 1974 “when by violating all divine and human laws Turkey attacked and occupied 37 per cent of our land, killed, raped, turning a third of our people into refugees and colonised our country with Muslims from Anatolia.”
Chrystosomos expressed hope that the Russian Church would continue to support Cyprus “because the drama of our people continues”.
The Church honoured the Patriarch with the Order of Apostle Varnavas, the highest decoration of the Orthodox Church in Cyprus.
Kirill presented Chysostomos with a scale model of Ayia Sofia.
(Source: Cyprus Mail)
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