13 February 2017, 16:07
Pilots from Admiral Kuznetsov prayed and took blessing before combat missions – priest
Moscow, February 13, Interfax - Russian pilots from Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier turned to the priest's help before taking up a combat task during the military campaign.
"Before the combat task they prayed and took my blessing," Archpriest Sergy Sherfetdinov, assistant to the commander of the 7th division of the Northern Fleet, said in his interview with Interfax-Religion on Monday as he worked on Admiral Kuznetsov during the task of the Russian aircraft carrier striking group in Syria.
Severomorksk has recently met crews of Admiral Kuznetsov and nuclear-powered heavy missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky from fighting campaign to Syria which started in mid-October 2016.
The interviewee of the agency told that Orthodox believers prevailed among the servicemen, but there also were Muslims. He conducted prayer services in the ship church for the health of the crew and their relatives, held requiem services, confessed, talked to servicemen and celebrated liturgies on Sunday.
According to Father Sergy, he baptised 20 people and attracted sailors to baking liturgical holy bread during the campaign.
He also said that "there was an iron discipline onboard and the life style was also like iron as iron was all around."
"Wives of sailors say about their husbands who come from the task that they smell like "main hull." As for me, they treated me like a "shrine". I had all the best, the best cabin, the best food. They protected me, cherished me. I can't say it was easy, everyone faced difficulties and hardships there. Anyway, it was a military campaign," the priest said.
"They fought like lions. I am grateful and pleased that I participated in this noble, high, truly masculine mission of serving to the Motherland, to our people," Father Sergy said.