2005-08-19 15:04:00

Russian defense minister attends the Holy Transfiguration Day celebrations led by Patriarch Alexy in Valamo

Valamo, August 19, Interfax - Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov attended the divine liturgy celebrated by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia at the Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration in the Valamo Monastery on Friday.

The minister, who came to Valamo at the invitation of Patriarch Alexy, will visit the Sixth Air Force Army special radar company deployed in the island.

The Defence Ministry information office noted that the special company is manned by the General Staff according to the list sent in by the abbot of the monastery, Father Panrkaty, through the Moscow Patriarchate. This practice has been observed since 1995.

The company is distinguished for the absence of any violations of army discipline in it. Diocesan priests come to the company for a talk with the staff every day. There is an iconostasis in the leisure room and mess for novice soldiers to pray before it.

The foundation of a chapel has been laid in the territory of the unit. The construction of the chapel is planned to be completed next year.

The company is fully staffed and there are no problems of supply or domestic equipment. Twelve servicemen of the company are novices of the Valamo Monastery.