June 22, 2019, Day of Remembrance and Grief, the team of the “Pearl Necklace of Holy Russia” took part in events dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the start of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 to honor the memory of those to whom we owe life, peace and freedom.
Heads, students and curators of the project “Pearl Necklace of Holy Russia”, members of the youth association “Orthodox Volunteers of Smolensk Region”, students of theological schools of the Smolensk diocese, parishioners, Smolensk and pilgrims gathered in the Annunciation Church on Cathedral Hill for prayer. . At 0.00 o'clock the Divine Liturgy began, led by the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Dorogobuzh Isidore.
After reading the Holy Gospel, Metropolitan Isidore addressed the audience with an archpastoral word:
"In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit! Today, of course, we remember all those who truly loved the people around them, those who loved the Fatherland, those who, for the love of God and their neighbors, allowed for themselves the possibility of dying to continue their lives. And we will forever remain those who will honor the memory of those who died for our Fatherland. We are those who correctly perceived the words uttered by St. Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, at the beginning of the 19th century: “Slaughter the enemies of God,” says the saint, “strike the enemies of the Fatherland and love your enemies”. This is such a seemingly complex formula that the prelate offers us, which fully corresponds to the Christian teaching - the commandments of love for God and neighbors. "
And may the eternal memory of the defenders of the Fatherland in these night hours, which coincide with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, be first of all in the thoughts of God. Eternal memory to all those who put their lives “for their friends”. And through imitation of God, we will again and again remember these people, among whom there are so many of our relatives. Indeed, there is no such family where there would be no heroic deed of the defenders of the Fatherland. And may, through remembrance, memory, and reverence of our heroes, the Lord will grant us to be His faithful servants — servants of love and truth. "
... We hope there will be no more terrible page in the history of our country than the one associated with this event - the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, which our people met with such horror, misunderstanding, and how many showed the best feelings, how much this incredible love manifested, including the love of enemies. And this was what distinguished our soldiers; this is what was imprinted in the history of what is connected with their feat. Let us forever keep them in our memory and pray for their repose. "
Then, those who pray with lighted lamps, walked from the Church of the Annunciation to the memorial banner, where the Orthodox cross was laid out and “Eternal memory ...” was pronounced for the dead of the Great Patriotic War.
After the divine service, His Eminence, clerics and laity went to the Square of Heroes Memory, where at 4.00 am at the Eternal Flame took part in the solemn rally and the Candle of Memory All-Russian Memorial Event. On this day, the Day of Memory and Grief is celebrated annually in all cities and villages of Russia: 78 years ago, the Great Patriotic War began in the early June morning, which killed the lives of millions of people in our country.
The clergy of the Smolensk diocese, the leadership of the city of Smolensk, the deputy of the VIIth State Duma Olga Okuneva, the chairman of the Smolensk city council Yuri Synkin, secular authorities, officers and soldiers, representatives of veteran and public organizations, representatives Smolensk Cossacks, schoolchildren and students, Smolensk and guests of the city.
The project team “Pearl Necklace of Holy Russia took part in a memorable event. The students of five Smolensk universities, accompanied by the project manager, the head of the Diocesan Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media, Archpriest Valery Ryabokon, and the project curators, lit lamps and candles, laid flowers to the eternal flame and the graves of the dead heroes, honored the memory of all those life took the war.
The international project for the development of youth tourism "Pearl Necklace of Holy Russia" is being implemented with the support of the Presidential Grants Competition.