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MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will visit the Patriarchate of Jerusalem on November 9-14 at the invitation of Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem.
The focal point of the visit will be pilgrimage to the greatest holy sites of the Christian world. Patriarch Kirill is expected to concelebrate with Patriarch Theophilos III at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and walk along the Via Dolorosa.
Also planned are visits to the Basilica of the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem, to Nazareth, Gethsemane, Mount Tabor, Tiberias and other places linked with the earthly life of Jesus Christ. Patriarch Kirill will consecrate a cathedral in the Gorny Convent and conduct the Great Blessing of the Waters in the Jordan River at the site of the baptism of Christ.
Kirill is to meet with the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian National Authority and the Kingdom of Jordan.
The patriarch’s book “Freedom and Responsibility” in the Hebrew language will be presented. The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church will visit the Yad Vashem Memorial.
Accompanying the patriarch will be the choir of the Sretensky stavropegial monastery. The choir will sing at the divine services and give Russian religious music concerts.
The visit will help strengthen brotherly bonds that have united the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries.
By Orthodox tradition, all primates of the Local Orthodox Churches visit their brothers in other Local Churches after election. Patriarch Kirill visited the Church of Constantinople in 2009, the Church of Alexandria in 2012, the Church of Antioch in 2011, and the Orthodox Churches of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Poland in 2012, the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church said.