MOSCOW: August 16, 2005

Pilgrimage to Russia Led by Archbishop Hilarion Ends

Today, the pilgrimage to Russia consisting of clergymen and laity led by His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion came to an end.

"The trip left an indelible impression. We traveled through almost half of Russia and had the opportunity to form an impression of the holy sites of Russia—not from tales and books, but by venerating the icons and relics with our own lips, see the holy sites where miracles were performed by the saints with our own eyes," said Archbishop Hilarion.

"Russian Orthodox Christians abroad and in Russia are spiritually united, and we sensed this during our entire trip," Vladyka pointed out.

During the trip, lasting from July 25 to August 16, the pilgrims prayed at the site of the martyrdom of the Royal Family in Ekaterinburg and at the site of the death of the Grand Ducal martyrs in Alapaevsk; and visited the famous monasteries of Holy Trinity-St Sergius Lavra; the Kursk-Root Hermitage; Tolgsky, Ipatievsky and Sanaksar Monasteries; they visited Tobol'sk, Diveevo and Zadonsk. The penultimate day of the pilgrimage was devoted to visiting the churches and monasteries of Moscow.