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YAROSLAVL, May 12, /ITAR-TASS/. The 6th International music festival ended here on Sunday with a gala concert dedicated to the septi-centennial of the birth of St Sergius of Radonezh. The major art forum is held in Yaroslavl Region every year under the direction of People's Artiste of the USSR Yuri Bashment.
The guests of the soiree and the audience at the concert-and-entertainment center Millennium were greeted by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Yaroslavl and Rostov. "The country-wide festive occasion in honour of St Sergius of Radonezh is celebrated with a view to preserving the morality culture and strengthening the unity of the people of Russia," Metropolitan Panteleimon pointed out. He recalled that earlier in the day Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia had consecrated a cathedral in honour of St Sergius in Varnitsy Village, Yaroslavl Region, the saint's birthplace.
"St. Sergius was the symbol of the revival of Rus (Russia) and the symbol of our salvation from the external and internal enemy. We the people of the 21st century must know our history, our ascetics, and our heroes," the Head of the Yaroslavl Metropolitanate emphasized. He added that musical culture is an integral and essential component in the life of every person.
For his part, Yuri Bashmet, who holds Festival concerts in the small towns and settlements of Yaroslavl Region every year, pointed out that his heart "is imbued with joy" due to a large number of Orthodox churches located in this region. "To myself, I have determined that the Land of Yaroslavl is the heart of Russian Orthodoxy," Maestro Bashmet said.