MOUNT ATHOS (Greece), May 28./TASS/. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led the service of consecration of the church in the Xilourgou hermitage, the first Russian monastery on Mount Athos.
"The Russian presence on [Mount] Athos started here, right at the place where we are standing. It is at Xilourgou that the life of Russian monks began, and from where came Elder Anthony founding the Kiev Pechersk Lavra," the patriarch said after the ceremony. "From here the Athos influence on Russian monkhood spread," he added.
The patriarch stressed that Russian monkhood on Mount Athos had been connected with all peoples populating historical Rus. He said the Xilourgou hermitage revived with participation of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian authorities and numerous patrons now has "grandeur it has never had in its history," wishing the monks living there see an early revival in full of monastic life.