MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I will visit Bulgaria on March 2-4 to take part in the gala functions timed for the 140th anniversary of Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottoman rule, the Reverend Alexander Volkov, the Patriarch's press secretary said on Tuesday.
"Patriarch Kirill I will make a visit to Bulgaria from March 2 to March 4 at the invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Neophyte of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on the occasion of the 140th anniversary since liberation of the country from the Ottoman yoke," the Rev Volkov said. "Patriarch Kirill I will attend the official functions, commemorate the soldiers who fell in the battles of 1877 and 1878 and conduct a prayer in the memorial Church of the Nativity on Mount Shipka."
The trip is destined to consolidate relations between the Russian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches, he said. "It will offer a testimony to the particular role the Orthodox Christian faith has played in the centuries-old relations between our peoples."
The itinerary of the visit includes a joint liturgy that the Patriarchs Kiill I and Neophyte will conduct at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Prince Alexander of the Neva in Sofia.
Also, the Russian Patriarch plans to venerate the holy relics of St Seraphim of Boguchar at the Russian Church of St Nicholas in Sofia. The Russian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches canonized Arbishop Seraphim in 2016.