03 October 2011, 12:14
Patriarch Kirill gets acquainted with Ukrainian boy who lacks both arms but swam 50 meter distance
Chernovtsy, October 3, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited an orphanage of the Ascension Bancheny Monastery in the village of Molnitsa of the Ukrainian Cherovtsy Region, where 256 children live including those who suffer from AIDS.
The children greeted the Primate in national Ukrainian and Moldavian costumes with flowers and special loafs. He kissed and embraced the girl who welcomed him.
The orphans guided the Patriarch around the monastery taking him by the hands.
"It feels so nice walking with you. No one has ever welcomed me like this. It's the first time I'm guided by the hand. You're so hospitable," the Patriarch said as he was deeply touched.
He visited the building where a swimming pool is located. The children were swimming a race and disabled boy Stepan who lacks both arms swam 50 meters. Then he came up to the Patriarch.
"I'm glad to meet you, you are so good in swimming. May God grant you strength, courage, patience to live a worthy life and with God you will always live worthily. You've already become a great sportsman," the Primate said.
Stepan confessed: "We are saved through your prayers, we're nothing without you, with you we're coming closer to God, you're a very good person for us, a helper."
The children gave the Primate an icon of the Holy Virgin, which they embroidered with beads, and he gave a chocolate bar to each of them.
Father Superior of the monastery and head of the orphanage Archimandrite Longin (Zhar) adopted first children in early 1990. Since then he has taken to his orphanage seriously ill children and those rejected by their parents and looks after them. The priest was honored with the title of Hero of Ukraine in 2008.
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