07 June 2013, 10:12
Senior Athos monk praises Russia, urges global Orthodox unity
Mount Athos, June 7, Interfax - The abbot of the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, Archimandrite Ephraim, praised Russia and called for global Orthodox unity.
"Even though it has been nearly a year and a half, our taking the Cincture of the Theotokos to Russia, the main relic of our monastery, is still fresh in our memory," Ephraim said after a prayer service at Vatopedi on Thursday that he co-led with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
Nearly 4 million people, including top Russian leaders, came to see the cincture and partake of its supposed miraculous powers while it was shown in various Russian cities between October 20 and November 28, 2011. It had been brought to Russia by Father Ephraim.
The archimandrite said the crowds that had come to venerate the cincture in Russia "may be considered the largest peaceful assembly of people worldwide in the 20 and 21st centuries."
"Nearly 4 million people kissed the holy cincture, and quite many of them queued for more than 17 hours to do this. Numerous miracles occurred while the holy cincture was [in Russia]. They are still continuing, especially miracles of childbirth. In some of the regions, visiting the relic helped solve demographic problems. Statistics show an inexplicable rise in the birth rate," Fr. Ephraim said.
"We have been able to see the great strength of the Orthodox Russian people. The power of the Church remains great in our days. The Russian Church as the most numerous enjoys great power and influence all over the world. We can never forget the immense support that you gave us at a time of ordeal," he said.
He credited Russia with continual help to Vatopedi and the entire Mount Athos during Ottoman rule and claimed there are special historical ties between Vatopedi and Russia. He mentioned that Vatopedi keeps about 1,500 old Russian icons, which are considered the largest collection of Russian icons outside Russia.
The monastery also keeps letters from Russian emperors stating donations to Vatopedi and asking for relics to be temporarily brought to Russia.
Today "traditional values are questioned and there are more and more crises of various kinds," the abbot said.
"We have reached a point where the entire Orthodox community needs to unify. This is a necessary condition for Orthodoxy to manifest itself as true Divine revelation and the true way of life for everyone. Today Orthodoxy must show its true universal character. Your, Your Holiness, as the leader of the most numerous Orthodox Church, would be able to help achieve this," Fr. Ephraim said.
- High-ranking Russian Orthodox Church rep objects to ban on consecration of WMDs 25 February 2020, 18:33
- Islamist from Donbass arrested in Kazan 25 February 2020, 11:02
- Three religious extremists detained in Kazan 20 February 2020, 18:30
- Putin calls to halt any religious discord 20 February 2020, 13:25
- All Russian Orthodox Church parishes in Southeast Asia to pray for riddance of coronavirus 19 February 2020, 18:41
- Court arrests Moscow church attacker 18 February 2020, 19:27
- Investigators file for arrest of suspected assailant of Moscow churchgoers 18 February 2020, 12:18
- Man who attacked people in Moscow church says didn't plan crime, 'got up on wrong side of bed' 17 February 2020, 22:06
- Four members of banned pseudo-religious group convicted in Orenburg Region 17 February 2020, 18:38
- Georgian Church decides not to take part in pan-Orthodox meeting in Jordan 17 February 2020, 18:33
- Romanian Church to agree with granting of tomos to Orthodox Church in Ukraine, provided that Constantinople and Moscow reach consensus - media (updated) 14 February 2020, 21:11
- Karekin II grateful to Syria for recognizing Armenian genocide 14 February 2020, 18:08
- Pan-Orthodox meeting on 'Ukrainian issue' to be held in Amman on Feb 26 (updated) 14 February 2020, 15:08
- No same-sex marriage to be legitimized in Russia as long as I am president - Putin (updated) 13 February 2020, 17:31
- Orthodox leaders to discuss 'Ukrainian issue' in Amman in late Feb (updated) 12 February 2020, 21:28
- CPRF doesn't mind mentioning God in Russian constitution 11 February 2020, 18:30
- Criminal case opened in Transbaikal Territory after searches of residences of suspected Jehovah's Witnesses 10 February 2020, 19:57
- A woman could head the Russian Church synodal department 10 February 2020, 12:34
- Russian Church proposes to designate the special role of Russians in Constitution 10 February 2020, 12:15
- Zelensky invites Pope to visit Ukraine 10 February 2020, 11:58
- Zelensky asks Pope to help with release of Ukrainians in custody in Russia, Donbass 10 February 2020, 11:55
- Alexander Metochion in Jerusalem working as usual, has no info on property handover 05 February 2020, 21:25
- Yakut shaman complains to ECHR 05 February 2020, 18:09
- OCU terminates Filaret's membership in Holy Synod 05 February 2020, 12:27
- Russian Orthodox Church could discontinue practice of blessing WMDs 04 February 2020, 21:05
- Enshrining 'traditional marriage' in constitution at bottom of working group's agenda 04 February 2020, 19:14
- Krasheninnikov against enshrining family, God in constitution 04 February 2020, 18:58
- Pompeo praises Uzbekistan for progress in upholding religious freedom 03 February 2020, 19:17
- Marriage, not family should be defined as union between man and woman in Russian Constitution - Russian Orthodox Church 03 February 2020, 18:04
- Working group to discuss appropriateness of mentioning God in Constitution – Kremlin 03 February 2020, 13:57