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RUSSIAN ECCLESIASTICAL MISSION IN JERUSALEM: August 27, 2006
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus visits Jericho and Galilee

On August 24-26, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, accompanied by the Deputy Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, Hegumen Andronik (Kotliaroff), and the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia delegation the holy sites of Jericho and Galilee.

In Jericho, His Eminence prayed at the Tree of Zaccheus, and then headed for the Russian Church premises shared by monastics of both the Russian Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate.

Here His Eminence Vladyka was greeted by Archimandrite Seraphim (Bobich), who had at one time lived in St Elias Skete on Mount Athos, and Monk Vasily, a member of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. His Eminence venerated the holy sites and viewed the chapel and garden, after which he shared a meal with the brethren of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate who also conduct their service there. During the trapeza, the President of the Russian Church Abroad was told about the life of the residents of this holy place, and answered their questions. As he said goodbye to the brethren, His Eminence thanked them for their warm reception, then departed for Galilee.

There His Eminence Vladyka prayed at the shore of the Sea of Galilee; the Mount of Beatitudes; in Capernaum; at the banks of the Jordan River; and at the wellspring of St Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles, where, according to tradition, she was healed. The spring is on the territory of Gorny Convent of the Moscow Patriarchate, located in Magdala. His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and the delegation were greeted by Nun Susanna, who showed the holy items in the small church and then offered the tired pilgrims refreshments.