Minsk, May 19, 2002
Photo: Victor Tolochko (ITAR-TASS)
On Sunday in Minsk the ceremony of opening a new charity, the House of Mercy, took place with participation of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy and president of Belorussia Alexander Lukashenko. "I'm confident the House of Mercy in Minsk will become a specimen for creating such kind of houses in Belorussia and Russia", - said the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The construction was conducted under the patronage of the president of Belorussia and Patriarch Alexy. The House of Mercy is built using new technologies and is designed for 160 people - orphans, disabled and aged people. On behalf of the Russian Church Patriarch granted to the House modern dentist equipment as a gift.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the importance of the today's event. According to him the House of Mercy is the unique social establishment of the Church and the state, unique of this kind on the post-Soviet territory. The president also expressed his gratefulness to Patriarch Alexy for his attention and respect being rendered to the Belorussian people. Alexander Lukashenko passed to the House of Mercy several ancient icons.
His Holiness Patriarch awarded Alexander Lukashenko with the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh for strengthening unity of Slav peoples. Patriarch also presented to the head of the state four volumes of "Orthodox Encyclopedia", already published.
During his visit to Belorussia Patriarch visited on 20th of May the Dormition Monastery of Zhirovichi in Grodno region where he served the Divine Liturgy. The Head of the Russian Church also visited Minsk Spiritual Academy and Seminary and the Transfiguration Cathedral being under the construction in Slonim. On the same day Patriarch consecrated the place of laying a new church in memory of St. Myrrhbearing Women in Baranovchi. On the final day of his visit Patriarch met members of the Synod of the Belorussian Exarchate.
ITAR-TASS / Pravoslavie.ru