[unedited machine translation]
Christianity became the faith of our people, our culture and shaped the national idea - Metropolitan Vladimir
Igor Borisenko (ITAR-TASS news agency, Kiev)
On the eve of 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus P redstoyatel Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Vladimir told ITAR-TASS, will be celebrated as a commemoration that will host the event and who will participate in them.
- Your Beatitude, this year will celebrate the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. In the first meeting of the organizing committee of the celebrations was attended by bishops and representatives of the governments of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Celebrations are planned in all three countries. How will they take place on the territory of Ukraine?
- The Baptism of Russia took place in Kiev, so the celebrations in the capital of Ukraine will be the culmination of the anniversary. Probably not a coincidence that Ukraine became the first post-Soviet country where the Day of the Baptism of Russia was not only the church, but also a public holiday. It was born in the Ukraine now has international social movement "Day of the Baptism of Rus', through which the celebration is not confined to the churches and monasteries, and are continuing on the streets and central squares of cities. Concerts, exhibitions and other public events. So in recent years celebration of the Baptism of Kievan Rus' in new forms. We strive to make these celebrations acquainted with our fellow Orthodox faith and history.
- What do you personally associate with this jubilee?
- For me, this day is also a day of Angela - the day of my patron saint as a monk - St. Vladimir. At the same time that day, and can be considered the birthday of the Church - the Church of Kievan Rus. It was then that the prince and the people made a fateful choice in favor of Christianity. Christianity became the faith of our people, our culture has formed and, as we now say, our national idea.
This year, the feast day of another of our great saint - Princess Olga - July 24 we will make the consecration of the lower-Andrew Vladimir Church in a newly built Holy Resurrection Cathedral of the Church. At the celebrations in Kiev of Greece will also be brought by the Cross of St. Andrew.
- Five years in a row center became a celebration of the Baptism of Rus Kiev. July 28, the feast day of Prince Vladimir - Baptizer of Rus, it was in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Patriarchal Liturgy was held at which thousands of pilgrims were praying. Whether this tradition this year?
- Of course. Liturgy in the monastery on July 28, as well as a prayer to St. Vladimir's Hill at the foot of the monument on July 27, has become an integral part of the festivities in honor of St. Vladimir. But this year, our anniversary celebration will be enhanced by the presence and participation in the services of the Primates and representatives of all the Local Orthodox Churches. Already confirmed their participation in Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Georgian, Bulgarian and Serbian patriarchs and primates of the Cypriot, Polish and American churches. We also look forward to the official and representative delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Romanian, Hellas, Albanian Churches and the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. All Orthodox Churches will participate in the celebration of 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus.
- Only once, in 2009, was made Patriarchal Liturgy in place of baptism of Prince Vladimir in Hersonissos, on the territory of Sevastopol. What place is given Chersoneses in celebrating this year?
- Hersonissos - is the proposed location of the baptism of Prince Vladimir, and was baptized Rus in Kiev. But Sevastopol, of course, will also be celebrating, because the supposed site of the baptism of the Holy Prince recovered from the ruins of St. Vladimir's Cathedral and 28 July - this is his feast day. This year, from Sevastopol started the international procession, which passed through the land of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. This procession will end on July 27 in Kiev, the capital. The name of the central streets of Kiev is not accidental and is associated with the Baptism of Russia. At this place was once Kreschaty ravine through which the inhabitants of ancient Kiev went down to the place of baptism. And this year will be held on Khreschatyk great educational concert.
- What should be done to preserve the unity of Orthodoxy in Ukraine? Will there be negotiations with the breakaway of the so-called canonical Church Kiev Patriarchate?
- Our arms are open to us separated from his brothers, and my heart is filled with sadness of the fact that in the moment when the Primates will gather in Kiev, and representatives of all the Local Orthodox Churches, many of our fellow citizens who profess the Orthodox faith, but, unfortunately, staying in the split will not participate in this celebration. The problem of overcoming the divisions of the Church in Ukraine is extremely complex. During the festivities, we will ask for the prayers of all the plenitude of the Ecumenical Orthodox Church of overcoming divisions in Ukraine. We believe that the Lord will send us their powerful help to heal the wounds of the heavy division.
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