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TALLINN, September 8 (Itar-Tass) — Edgar Savisaar, the mayor of Tallinn, and Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia Cornelius on Saturday unveiled a bust to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy II in his native city of Tallinn. The ceremony attended by thousands of people took place in front of the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Quick to Hear which is currently under construction in the Lasnamae district of Tallinn where Russian-speaking people mostly live.
“We are unveiling a bust to our outstanding fellow-countryman, a person who served the God and the Church and with that produced an impact on the spiritual and moral image of the whole society,” the mayor of Tallinn emphasized. He said that Patriarch Alexiy’s care and attention could be felt in Estonia after he had been elected patriarch in 1990.
“Patriarch Alexiy’s merits to the Orthodox Church of Estonia can hardly be overestimated,” Metropolitan Cornelius said.
In Soviet times, Alexiy was appointed vice-chairman of the External Relations department of the Moscow patriarchate. He managed to save the Pyukhtitsky Orthodox Monastery in Estonia from closure. The authorities wanted to turn it into a holiday home. Alexiy initiated foreign delegations to come to the monastery. Those visits made the monastery world famous, and the authorities didn’t dare to close an internationally famous place. The future patriarch also thwarted plans to turn the Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church in Tallinn into a planetarium.
Alexiy ran the Tallinn eparchy from 1961 to 1986. The place where the bust was unveiled on Saturday is linked to his pastoral activities. He blessed the construction of the Orthodox Church in Lasnamae.