CWN - Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, met on June 26 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

The two “agreed on the need for closer cooperation between the two Churches in seeking a peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine and giving aid to those who need it,” according to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Metropolitan Hilarion praised improving Orthodox-Catholic relations in Belarus, and the two also discussed the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

On June 26, Metropolitan Hilarion also met with Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. “They discussed a wide range of issues concerning the common responsibility of the Orthodox and the Catholics in defending the traditional family,” according to the patriarchate.


Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

Today the Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.