RUSSIA: October 5, 2004

His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart leads a pilgrimage
of the German Diocese to the holy sites of the Urals

As reported by the official website of the Ekaterinburg Diocese, His Grace Bishop Agapit (Gorachek) of Stuttgart is leading a pilgrimage to the holy sites of the Urals.

Yesterday, the clergymen and pilgrims prayed at divine liturgy at the Church-on-the-Blood of All Russian Saints in Ekaterinburg, built on the place of the martyrdom of the Royal New Passion-bearers.

Speaking about their visit to the Urals on the television program "Diocesan News," Vladyka Agapit said: "I joyfully greet the Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church on behalf of the German Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Today is the first day of our visit. Our pilgrims from Germany came especially to venerate the holy relics of SS Elizaveta and Varvara, the holy places of the Urals, the Royal Martyrs, to see and to venerate all the local relics, to become acquainted with church life in the Russian land. I was here a year and a half ago, privately, but today as part of a large group for the first time.

St John of Shanghai in his time, the great saint of the Russian diaspora, said in the Brussels church in 1962 during his sermon that the Memorial Church there is a candle lit for the diaspora, so that we would remember the sufferings of the Russian people after the revolution, remember the murder of the Royal Family. He said that the Memorial Church in Brussels will shine until a similar magnificent church is built in Ekaterinburg. And then a new era will begin. We are witnesses to that, and we are very glad that the Russian people are moving closer to the Church.

Besides Ekaterinburg, we will visit Nevyansk, Verkhotursk, where we will venerate the relics of St Simeon the Righteous, and we will visit Alapaevsk. Then we will travel to Tobolsk to venerate the relics of St John of Tobolsk."