"Russia's ties with the Holy Mountain and Greece will be strengthened, and spiritual relationship and trust will continue to determine the nature of the traditionally close and friendly relations", - said Russian President.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Mount Athos, where celebrations were held to mark the millennium, the presence of Russian monasticism.
Mount Athos is largely the source of the moral foundations of society. This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The head of state after the arrival of Athos visited the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, which was served a short prayer service, after which the welcome address said protoepistat Holy Mountain, Paul's father. In reply, Putin thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Primates of the Greek Orthodox Church for what they are doing to maintain relations with the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian people.
"I am here for the second time, and always feel a special warmth, kindness and the best attitude not only to me, as the head of the Russian state and the Russian people, to the people as a whole", - Putin said.
He noted that on the Holy Mountain is very important 'and very necessary for the conduct of the Orthodox world "associated with the strengthening of the moral foundations of society.
"To a large extent you are a source of well-being and grace", - President said.
"Relations will be strengthened"
Russian Relations with the Holy Mount Athos and Greece as a whole will be strengthened, and "spiritual relationship and trust will continue to determine the nature of our traditionally close and friendly relations." Confidence in the President of the Russian Federation expressed at the meeting with members of the Holy Kinot (Supreme Body Athos government).
According to him, over the centuries, the community of faith and sympathy unite the peoples of Russia and Greece, helping to overcome difficulties and to overcome them. "This was evident in the period of the liberation movement in the Balkans and to many other stages of world history these very deep feelings fully inherited the current generations of our citizens." - Said the head of state.
He noted that "an important indication of the growing Russian and Athos Athos connections are shrines, which are offered for worship in our country." Among them - the belt of the Virgin of Vatopedi Monastery and the Right Hand of St. George Monastery of Xenophon. "Attached to them were able to hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Russia We hope that this high noble mission of Mount Athos, Mount Athos monasteries will continue.", - Putin said.
According to the president of Russia, everyone who walks in the holy land of Athos, has special feelings. "It is a unique center of Orthodoxy and Christianity For over a thousand years it has carefully preserved and multiply the spiritual traditions and our common values." - He said.
"For centuries, the Orthodox Athos drew spiritual strength"
The role of Athos, Putin added, extremely significant today, "when Orthodoxy in Russia and other countries, where it is practiced, is strengthened." "Strengthened Orthodoxy makes a huge number of people to gain internal support, including for people living in our country, Russia. And the first written mention of the Russian holy mountain dates back to the millennium, which once again underlines the importance of this special place and for Russia today ", - said the president.
For centuries, the Orthodox believers on Mount Athos drew spiritual strength and knowledge. "Reviving today patriotic values, historical memory, traditional culture, we look forward to consolidating our relations with the Athos I am glad that every year it is visited by large number of pilgrims from Russia for over 11 thousand a year.", - Putin said, thanking the priests for the hospitality and kindness that meet the Russians on Athos.
Putin said the need to make every effort to Russian on Mount Athos Holy Monastery Panteleimonov further strengthen the spiritual forces of all the Orthodox.
"I would like to thank you, Reverend, and the brethren of the monastery for the hospitality and cordiality, which met here our compatriots", - the president said, speaking in front of fraternity, and the abbot, after a short prayer service, which was attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.
"You are us an example of following the principles of humanism, kindness and justice, these traditional moral and cultural values are now the moral yardstick and support for all of us and are important for the maintenance of peace, the strengthening of Russia, to preserve the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church." - Said Putin .
President wished the prosperity of the monastery, long life and good health of her brother. "It is important to continue to work together to do everything necessary to the Russian area of Mount Athos has continued to strengthen the spiritual forces of all Orthodox believers", - Putin said. He noted that, historically, the monastery served and continues to serve a high spiritual mission, roads Orthodox in Russia and in other countries. "I was here in the year 2005 And today I can testify that change simply wonderful.", - Putin said, referring to efforts to rebuild the monastery.
The President noted that Russia and Mount Athos has long been tied close religious ties, Athos tradition played an important role in the life of the Russian people, and today Russia's interest in Athos unabated, and, more recently, with the active participation of the Russian Orthodox Church and benefactors is a restoration of historical sites related with the Russian presence in the Holy Mountain. Putin stressed that the revival of the St. Panteleimon Monastery marked the first ever visit of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Pimen Athos in 1902 year.
In turn, Patriarch Kirill, who spoke after a brief prayer service, said that the first visit to Mount Athos over 40 years ago. And St. Panteleimonov monastery was in ruins, he said. Instead 1000 monks in the monastery then was only seven, the patriarch added.
"I can not convey their feelings when they saw us, how much joy and hope, although some thought that it was over with the Russian presence and the Panteleimon monastery will never be able to reborn," said the patriarch. The process of reconstruction was gradual, and more and more novices and pilgrims began to come to the monastery. "Special changes have taken place in recent years, and the Russian state has been actively involved in the preparation for the celebration of the 1000 anniversary of the Russian presence in Mount Athos." A corresponding fund was created, "said Patriarch Kirill, noting the efforts of the head of state personally in this sphere.