Moscow, June 24, 2015
On June 24, 2015, the feast of the “It is truly meet” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, a senior priest of the Pyatigorsk Diocese (located in the Caucasus mountain area) Archimandrite Lev/Leo (Akhidov) celebrated a Divine Liturgy at the Church of Hieromartyr Thaddeus (Uspensky; Archbishop of Tver, murdered in 1937 under the Soviet regime) at the strict security penal colony №3 in the Kamenka village of Kabardino-Balkaria (a republic in South Russia situated in the North Caucasus), reports Blagoslovenny Kavkaz.
During his sermon, the priest, citing the two thieves crucified on the cross with Christ as an example, stressed the need of repentance even until the last moment of one’s life. “We must never give way to despair and we must always keep our hope - despite everything,” Archimandrite Lev noted.
After the service Priest Vitaly Bondar anointed the prisoners with holy oil from relics of Holy Hierarch Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky), Archbishop of the Crimea and Simferopol.