Vladimir Putin visited the Valaam Island
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin visited the Valaam Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour on the Day of its founders Reverend Sergius and Herman on July 11, reported RIA News.
In front of the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour of the Monastery Vladimir Putin was met by Patriarch Kirill; in the church President lit a candle near the Valaam icon of Holy Mother of God and kissed the relics of the saint founders of the Monastery. It is the second visit of the Head of the state to honour saint Sergius and Herman on the day they are honoured in the church.
Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia discussed the future of the Monastery and the matters related to development of the unique Karelian Island which is getting more and more popular among pilgrims and tourists.
The Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called jointly with “Motor Sich” erected the monument to Saint Vladimir at the Vladimir skete of the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour.
“A lot of charitable acts connect us to the Valaam Monastery” – said Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, in his conversation with journalists. “We came to Valaam long time ago. We are proud that thanks to the Foundation in 2005 the “Apostle Andrew the First-Called” Bell of 2,000 kg was founded and became the main bell of the Monastery” – he reminded.
The Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called and the Centre of National Glory take part in the activity of the Valaam Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the programme for restoration of the Valaam Monastery. The “Apostle Andrew the First-Called” Bell of 2,000 kg was founded for the Monastery and became the main bell there.
Every year on Easter days the Holy Fire is delivered to the Monastery by the dedicated transport. Bishop Pancratius of Trinity, the vicar of the Valaam Monastery, solemnly receives the Holy Fire as it arrives.
In 2006 the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called jointly with “Russian Railways” OJSC implemented the humanitarian project to provide patronage assistance for the Valaam Monastery: 18 medical workers from railway hospitals and from the Octyabrskaya Railway Clinic arrived to visit Valaam monks and to deliver medical supplies. Within two days the doctors examined over a hundred patients including the monks and local population.
In 2014 at the initiative of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called and “Motor Sich” and with the blessing from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill the monument to Apostle Andrew the First-Called was erected in Valaam. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia headed the ceremony to unveil the monument. The monument was erected on the Mount of Favor – on the way from the pier of the Monastery Bay near the saint gates of the Valaam Monastery. The way to approach the monument is created in the form of the cross of Andrew the First-Called: two paths crossing. The sculpture is in bronze and is installed on the marble foundation. The monument is 3.6 meters high with the cross of 4 meters.
They came up with the idea to erect the monument just before 1025th anniversary of Christianization of Russia. According to Vyacheslav Boguslayev, President of “Motor Sich”, Saint Andrew the First-Called has always been worshiped by our peoples as our peculiar patron. He said that Apostle Andrew is the symbol of spiritual unity of Russia and Ukraine.
After the blessing ceremony His Holiness Patriarch Kirill appealed to the people around: “Saint Andrew united the south and the north of the vast territory which later was called Saint Russia. He realized that this is the land where the Christ’s light will be particularly bright, and it came true. Our land experienced the heroic acts of great legions of martyrs and the reverend, blessed princes and simple people whose names were not preserved in the history but whose life was the symbol of their commitment to Christ. It is important that today when the spiritual unity of Russia, Saint Russia, historical Russia faces hardships, the monument is erected here in Valaam and it is done with active involvement and help of our brothers from Ukraine”.
Exactly two years later on July 10, 2016 His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia blessed the sculpture of Holy Mother of God which was installed in the inner territory of the central building of the Valaam Stavropegial Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, near the walls of the Cathedral. The sculpture was placed at the initiative of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called.