25 May 2010, 11:34
Russian Patriarch commends Grand Duchess's role in restoring church unity
Moscow, May 25, Interfax - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has expressed his condolences over the death of Grand Duchess Leonida Georgiyevna, the mother of the head of the Romanovs dynasty.
"We are grateful to the deceased Grand Duchess for her role in church life at home and abroad, and for her significant contribution to the restoration of church unity," Patriarch Kirill said in a condolence letter posted on the Moscow Patriarchate's website.
Grand Duchess Leonida Georgiyevna had never lost "the keenest interest in what was going on in Russia, and shared our grief and joy," he said.
"The Grand Duchess had lived an eventful, long and dramatic life, experiencing much suffering and many challenges. She however lived her life filled with love for Russia and devotion to the Holy Orthodox Church," the Russian Patriarch said.
Patriarch Kirill said he would always remember the meetings he had with the Grand Duchess, "especially the first one in 1991, when the royal couple arrived in St. Petersburg, and their last meeting in Smolensk."
Grand Duchess Leonida Georgiyevna died in Madrid overnight on Sunday at the age of 95. She was the widow of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, the great grandson of Russian Emperor Alexander II.
Leonida Georgiyevna will be buried at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, tentatively on June 3.