2012-08-14 12:42:00

Patriarch Kirill to visit Poland

Moscow, August 14, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will pay a visit to Poland on August 16-19 at the invitation of Metropolitan Savva of Warsaw.

"This will be the first visit by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Polish Orthodox Church. No doubt, this event will play a central role in maintaining good and Christian relations between our peoples," deacon Alexander Volkov, the head of the Patriarch's press service, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

During his visit, Patriarch Kirill will serve church services together with the head and the clergy of the Polish Orthodox Church. A prayer will be conducted in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Warsaw on August 16.

The main services will take place the Transfiguration Day and on the Transfiguration Day, August 19, on the Holy Mount of Grabarka, one of the most celebrated holy places in Poland. "Many pilgrims who come to this place every day for the Transfiguration Day will come there," the source said.

"The Primates of the Russian and Polish Orthodox Churches will conduct a divine service there on the holiday, which will become the main event of the Patriarch's visit," he said.

Patriarch Kirill will also visit Polish churches and monasteries, where he will meet and pray together with Polish believers.

"Bearing in mind the importance of the protection of traditional Christian values and culture in modern Europe and the common tasks that ensue from this, the Holy Patriarch and Metropolitan Jozef Michalik, the head of the Polish Episcopal Conference, will sign a joint address to the people of Russia and Poland," Father Alexander said.

He also said the document will call for the development of brotherly relations between the people of Russia and Poland, "in whose life Christian faith plays a central role."

The Patriarch is also expected to meet with top Polish officials during his visit.