MOSCOW, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I is expected to give a blessing to the Russian national team at the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi on the eve of the Games when he leads an intercessory prayer service in the Church of the Savior’s Holy Image commissioned recently near the Sochi Olympic Park, a report on the official website of the national team said Wednesday.
Deacon Alexander Volkov, the Patriarch’s press secretary, whom Itar-Tass turned for clarifications to, confirmed that “His Holiness Kirill I is expected to visit the Sochi church on the eve of the Olympic Games but a detailed program of his stay in Sochi will be made public later.
The intercessory prayer service is to be held two days prior to the official opening of the Olympic Games. It will be preceded by the ceremony of hoisting the Russian flag at the Olympic village.
The Church of the Savior’s Holy Image is part of the compound of St John the Baptist’s Inn. A stone laid into its foundation in August 2012 was retrieved by archeologists from the remnants of a wall of a Byzantine church of the 9th century discovered right at the same spot earlier.
The archeologists said the olden church had contained the tombs of Christian martyrs who had suffered for their faith.
On the night from January 6 to January 7, President Vladimir Putin took part in the Christmas service in the Church of the Savior’s Holy Image.