Rome - On 24 September 2017, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, began his working visit to Rome.

Meeting Metropolitan Hilarion at the airport in Rome were Bishop Matfei of Bogorodsk, administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in Italy; Mr. Alexander Avdeyev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Vatican; and Rev. Hyacinthe Destivelle, a staff member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

On September 25, at the Vatican, the DECR chairman met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated Pope Benedict on his 90th birthday and conveyed to him warm greetings and wishes from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

During the meeting, the DECR chairman told the Pontiff Emeritus about the meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis that took place in Havana on 12 February 2016, as well as about various aspects of cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

In reply to Pope Benedict’s question about the revival of faith in the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion told him about the construction of new churches and monasteries, the establishment of theological faculties in secular universities, and the Church’s publishing and educational activities.

Metropolitan Hilarion presented Pope Benedict XVI with the Russian edition of the Pontiff Emeritus’ book entitled “The Theology of Liturgy,” prepared by the Publishing House of the Moscow Patriarchate in cooperation with the St. Gregory the Theologian Charity Foundation. Pope Emeritus warmly thanked the DECR chairman for the gift and expressed his wish that the Orthodox Christians in Russia might find his book in its Russian translation helpful for the better understanding of the Liturgy.

As a birthday present, Metropolitan Hilarion granted to Pope Benedict XVI six volumes of his book “Jesus Christ. Life and Teaching.”

Taking part in the meeting were also Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Papal Household; Hieromonk Ioann Kopeykin, vice-rector of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies; and Rev. Hyacinthe Destivelle of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

DECR Communication Service


Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica