NEW YORK: September 14, 2005

Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits the Synodal Cathedral


On September 14, at 4 pm, President Vladimir Putin visited the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign. The Russian President was greeted in the courtyard by Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan; Protopriest Peter Holodny, the Synodal Treasurer; and Protopriest Andrei Sommer, the Senior Priest of the Synodal Cathedral. The President then entered the Cathedral, where he was met by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Venerating the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God and the relics of SS Elizaveta and Varvara, Vladimir Vladimirovich prayed during the moleben performed before the main holy icon of the Russian diaspora by Mitred Protopriest George Larin along with Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff and Priest Serafim Gan, with a male choir singing under the direction of Andrei E. Burbelo. At the end of the service, His Eminence greeted the President, recounting some of the miracles that had occurred after prayers before the wonder-working icon during the Second World War and wished God's help in his service to Russia and the Russian people. He then gave President Putin an album on the 75th anniversary of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville. In his response, Vladimir Vladimirovich expressed his joy at their joint prayer before the oldest holy icon of the Russian Church and gave His Eminence the gift of an icon of the Mother of God.

Amid a warm, gregarious atmosphere during a cup of tea, Vladimir Vladimirovich told of his visits to Mt Athos, Valaam and Solovki Monasteries and expressed the hope that the process of peacemaking between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate would conclude peacefully and fruitfully.