2010-01-28 14:43:00

Patriarch Kirill blesses Olympic team to protect Russia’s national dignity in Vancouver

Moscow, January 28, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conducted a prayer service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on Thursday for Olympic team in the run up to the 21st Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

According to the Interfax-Religion correspondent, over 250 sportsmen including members of the Olympic team and coaches came to pray.

Before the service, Patriarch Kirill told the guests that the country’s sport honor they were going to protect at the Games “is very important for our national self realization and dignity, especially when the country goes through difficult life’s obstacles.”

“People need victory as an important physiological factor that helps them realize dignity of the great country and the great nation,” Patriarch Kirill said.

He wished the sportsmen to preserve inner power which is important at most responsible moments of competitions and to accompany their strife for victory with prayer and faith in God’s help.

“You should be strong inside, concentrate and force yourself to do what people expect you to,” the Patriarch told the Olympic team.

Patriarch Kirill gave an icon of the Savior and his personal blessing to each sportsman and reminded that they could always pray in a special church constructed for Russians in Vancouver Olympic village, where the Icon of St. George the Victorious would be placed. Russian sportsmen will be accompanied by a priest.