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Putin attends festive concert on 700th anniversary of St. Sergius of Radonezh

July 18, 2014, 18:00 UTC+3 SERGIEV POSAD
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SERGIEV POSAD, July 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a festive concert on the occasion of the 700th birth anniversary of famous Russian Saint Sergius of Radonezh in the Moscow regional city of Sergiev Posad on Friday.

“Today our country celebrates the 700th birth anniversary of Saint Sergius of Radonezh who is the greatest ascetic and spiritual leader in Russia and a founder of the Holy Trinity Laura,” the president said, adding that “He played a truly epoch-making role in the history of our country. “An enlightener and spiritual guide of Russia,” people gave this simple and full description to Sergius of Radonezh’s high mission.”

The president noted that a wise and firm preaching of the spiritual guide gave a spiritual backing and support in hard times of foreign invasion and internal feudal strife. “At that particular moment he said his prophetic words, “Love and unity will save us!” This appeal filled with unshakable faith contributed to unification of Russian lands. It came forever into the soul of people, our historical memory,” Putin noted.

He noted that the scale and influence of the personality of St. Sergius were reflected in many generations and many epochs. He became an inspirer of a patriotic, national and moral upsurge, promoted strengthening of the Christian Orthodox Church and construction of monasteries which were not only spiritual centers, but also fortresses and those on guard of Russia.

“The Holy Trinity Laura plays a special role among them. It is deservedly considered as an Orthodox stronghold, a pure source of faith and a treasury of national culture,” the president said. In his view, it is important that today other memorial places associated with the name of Sergius of Radonezh are also being restored. They were given second birth thanks to donations of many people and thanks to their eternal memory about the great saint and his spiritual feat.

“The life of St. Sergius has been admiring and giving wings to people already for seven centuries,” Putin said in conclusion, adding that “This brings light to minds and hearts, opens their path to faith and triumph of love and good. St. Sergius’s covenants are a key to understanding of Russia, to realization of fundamental principles — traditions of unity and consolidation. The power of Russia, its great past, present times and future are in this unity, truth and justice, in our century-long values!”

Accompanied by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill Vladimir Putin also came to the Assumption Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius which was built on Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible’s orders in the second half of the 16th century. The main shrines at this cathedral are relics of St. Innokenty, St. Makariy and St. Maxim the Greek.

The supreme hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church briefed the president on reconstruction of the cathedral. Vladimir Putin was watching the festive interior of the church, walked around the church and venerated the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh being kept at the Holy Trinity Church.

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