2013-01-03 14:47:00

Patriarch Kirill will make pilgrimage to Mt. Athos and visit Estonia in 2013

Moscow, January 3, Interfax - In 2013 the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, will visit Greece, Mount Athos and the Baltic states, head of the Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk has announced.

"At the beginning of June the Patriarch plans to visit Greece. The visit to the territory of the Orthodox Church of Ellada will be a reply to the visit of Archbishop of Athens Hieronymus to Russia in 2012. During the stay the Patriarch intends to make a pilgrimage to Mount Athos," the Metropolitan told Interfax-Religion before New Year.

He said the Patriarch will also continue his visits to dioceses of the Russian Church, including those outside of Russia, and to the self-governed Churches of the Moscow Patriarchate.

"The Patriarch has already visited many countries belonging to the canonical territory but after his enthronement he has not been in the Baltic States, for instance, at the end of June the Patriarch intends to visit Estonia where believers of the Estonian Apostolic Church the Moscow Patriarchate have been looking forward for their Primate for a long time," the Metropolitan said.

In line with the tradition the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will celebrate the day of St. Prince Vladimir, July 28, in Kiev, "at the cradle of the Baptism of Rus."

"There are also plans of other travels, but their dates still have to be set," the metropolitan added.