BALTIYSK, October 12 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I on Wednesday consecrated a cathedral in the name of St Prince Alexander of the Neva, located in Russia’s westernmost town of Baliysk in the Baltic exclave region of Kaliningrad.
This is one of the four cathedrals dedicated to Prince Alexander, a strongly revered personality from Russia’s early history. All them are to be built on Russia’s borders.
Last year, Kirill I consecrated a cathedral in the Far-Eastern island of Sakhalin.
Chief of Staff of Russia’s Baltic Fleet, Rear Admiral Sergei Farkov, and Kaliningrad region Governor Nikolai Tsukanov attended the consecration ceremony and the first liturgy inside the new cathedral.
“It’s highly important that a church devoted to our great saint and hero of the Russian land should be located here,” Kirill I said.
“The residents of the town of Baltiysk and our sailors will pray in this majestic cathedral, following the example set by their God-loving ancestors,” he went on. “They will be inspired by St Alexander’s personality, by his love for the fatherland, his self-sacrificing, wisdom, and strength.”
His Holiness spent a few minutes enjoying the beauty of the newly built church. Placed on a hill, the cathedral has become “the architectural dominant point of Baltiysk.”
He said he chose the site about fifteen years ago when he occupied the office of Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.
The metropolitan cathedral of the St Alexander of the Neva, like the three other cathedrals to be built on the borders, will have the status of a podvorye of the Patriarch – a religious mission, or minster, reporting directly to the Office of the Patriarch.
The first liturgy in Baltiysk was combined with the ceremony of ordination of the abbot of the world-famous Ipatyevsky monastery near Kostroma to the rank of a bishop. He will take the bishopric see in the Far-Eastern diocese of Magadan.
In the course of the four-days-long trip to the Kaliningrad exclave, His Holiness will get familiarized with the construction of new churches and restoration of old ones.