28 January 2009

The Head of the House of Romanoff, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, has signed in Madrid a Letter of Congratulations to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the occasion of his Election to the Patriarchal Throne by the Council of the Russi

Patriarch Kirill will build upon the legacy left by Aleksei II, says the Head of the House of Romanoff

Moscow, 28 January. INTERFAX—The Head of the House of Romanoff, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, has sent her congratulations to Metropolitan Kirill on his election as patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

“I believe that the election of Kirill as patriarch of Moscow and All Russia is a reassuring guarantee that the legacy left by Aleksei II will not only be preserved, but will be built upon,” she told INTERFAX.

The Director of the Chancellery of the House of Romanoff, Aleksander Zakatov, told INTERFAX that Maria Vladimirovna “followed closely the meetings of the Hierarchical and Local Councils by a direct television link.”

“Immediately after the announcement of the results of the election, I conveyed her verbal congratulations to the new patriarch and informed him that the Grand Duchess will be coming to Moscow on January 30 to take part personally in the divine services and the enthronement of the new patriarch,” A. Zakatov said.

Historical Note: The Russian Imperial House has over the years enjoyed a very close relationship with the newly-elected Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The future patriarch took part in the historic meeting between Patriarch Aleksei II and Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, Head of the Russian Imperial House, and with his consort, Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna, in St. Petersburg at the St. John Convent on the Karpovka, during the first official visit of royal couple to their homeland, in 1991. After the death of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, then Metropolitan Kirill on numerous occasions publically appeared alongside, and attended divines services with, the Imperial Family in Moscow, Smolensk, and St. Petersburg.

The Grand Duchess bestows the devices of the Order of St. Alexander Nevskii (First Class) upon Metropolitan Kirill
Caption: The Grand Duchess bestows the devices of the Order of
St. Alexander Nevskii (First Class) upon Metropolitan Kirill

In 2006, the Head of the Romanoff Dynasty, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, singled out Metropolitan Kirill for his distinguished service to the Holy Church and to Russia by raising him to the Imperial Order of the St. Alexander Nevskii. In his congratulatory letter to the Grand Duchess on the occasion of her 55-th birthday (on 23 December 2008), the Locum Tenens of the patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Kirill, wrote: “You are the very personification of a Russian Grand Duchess—gracious, wise, compassionate, and a true lover of Russia. Though far from your Motherland, you continue to take an active part in its fate, rejoicing in its successes and enduring with your countrymen its difficulties. It is extremely gratifying to note that in today’s unique historical conditions, you continue to make a substantial contribution to the creation of a strong Russia that is based on spiritual and moral values, and the centuries-long traditions of its people. The Russian Orthodox Church, remaining, as it has always been, the preserver of the historical memory of the Russian people, enjoys, as has always been its tradition, the warmest possible relations with the Russian Imperial House.” In her response, Her Imperial Highness wrote: “For the Russian Imperial House, responsibility for which has been given to me by our Lord, Holy Orthodoxy has been and always shall be its main spiritual and moral guide. The Church is, in the words of my ever-memorable grandfather Emperor Kirill Vladimirovich, the Leader and Shaper of Russia. Therefore, for me, your words about the traditional support for our Dynasty by the Russian Orthodox Church were especially touching. For my part, I affirm to Your Eminence that, no matter the circumstances, I, following the will of my heart and fulfilling our immutable law, will do all I can for the benefit of the Church, for the defense and preservation of its dogmas, its liturgical life, and its ecclesiastical order—as my son and Heir, Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich, is likewise prepared to do.”

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