His Holiness the Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia jubilee visit to the Stauropegion Valaam monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour on July 9-11, 2000.
On jubilee year 2000 His Holiness the Patriarch had visited Valaam monastery the tenth time, first and second visits took place in his childhood: in 1938 and 1939. Other visits were accomplished by His Holiness when he had already become the Father Superior and Hieroarchimandrite of the cloister, that's why it's named Stauropegion.
At 16-30 on July the 9th, the Patriarch had arrived to St.-Petersburg's airport "Pulkovo-II", where he was met by the Metropolitan Vladimir of St.-Petersburg and Ladoga, Yakovlev V. A. the governor of St.-Petersburg, Serdjukov V. P. the governor of Leningrad region, large number of diocese clergy and pilgrims. At 17-00 the plane from Kiev had arrived to St.-Petersburg and delivered the great Christian relic - honest head of Panteleimon, the Great Martyr and Healer which was followed by brethren of Afon Panteleimon monastery. The Patriarch and the Metropolitan accepted this sacred thing with devotion and left for the Holy Trinity-Alexander Nevsky Laura, where, in presence of large number of clergy and pilgrims, the moleben singing to the great martyr St. Panteleimon had taken place. At 20-00 His Holiness left for Valaam island, by the ship named "St.-Petersburg". He was followed by Yakovlev V. A. the governor of St.-Petersburg, Lebedev Y. I. the mayor of Nizhni Novgorod City, the Metropolitan Vladimir of St.-Petersburg and Ladoga, the arcbishop Manuil of Petrozavodsk and Karelia, the bishop Constantin of Tikhvin, the bishop Alexy of Orehovo-Zuevo, the bishop Mercury of Zaraisk, the clergy of St.-Petersburg diocese and numerous pilgrims from Russia, Ukraine and Cyprus. His Holiness had served the moleben on the board and blessed the pilgrim trip to the sacred things of Valaam.
In the morning on July the 10th, the Patriarch has arrived to the cloister. In the Monastery bay His Holiness had been met by Abbot archmandrite Pankraty of the Stauropegion Valaam monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, Katanandov S. L. the Chairman of Government of Republic Karelia with his wife, brethren of the cloister and pilgrims. In the Temple of Sts. Sergy and German, Valaam miracle-workers in front of the shrine with the relics of these saint founders of the cloister the Patriarch had served the moleben. Then, all guests and pilgrims had come to the Abbot's cemetery, where, on tradition, His Holiness served Requiem Service by the tombs of Abbots of the cloister.
At 12 o'clock in the afternoon the laying of a stone into the foundation of reconstructed two floored building, destroyed during World War II, had been occurred . The Patriarch had blessed the beginning of reconstruction, upon termination of which, the long-awaited possibility of removing the administration and other organizations of Valaam settlement from monastery buildings into new-built administrative building will appear. At the laying there had been His Holiness, Katanandov S. L. the Chairman of Government of Republic Karelia, Abbot Pankraty, Alekseev V. A. the President of Fund "Unity of orthodox nations", clergy, brethren, guests of the cloister and pilgrims.
At 13-00 Patriarch has headed brethren meal, where he addressed his word to the brethren. The Patriarch has called brethren not only to occur the prayer vigil, but also to give due attention to labor and cloister improvement, service to people, to renew the best traditions of Russian monks.
In the evening, in the Temple of Sts. Sergy and German, Valaam miracle-workers His Holiness had occurred All-Night Vigil service, in concelebrating with Their Excellencies, brethren of the cloister, clergy of St.-Petersburg and Karelian dioceses. Clergy from Cyprus also took part in divine service.
In the morning on July the 11th, in a day of altar feast (memory of Sts. Sergy and German, Valaam miracle-workers - founders of the monastery) Potavchenko G. S. the Representative of the President of Russian Federation on central region, Yakovlev V. A. the governor of St.-Petersburg, Sedjukov V. P. the Governor of the Leningrad region had arrived to the island.
At 9 o'clock in the morning in the Temple of Sts. Sergy and German, Valaam miracle-workers, in concelebrating of archbishops and numerous clergy His Holiness had served the divine Liturgy, where made the consecration of two novices of Valaam monastery: deacon-monk Dionisy (Uzhegov) into priest-monk and monk Savvaty (Sevostijanov) into deacon-monk. Extensive Cathedral temple in honor of Sts. Sergy and German hardly contained large number of prayers. It is enough to say, that at about 700 people had accepted the Holy Communion from hands of Primate of Russian Church though there had been still 5 archbishops who gave the Holy Communion to the people. After the ending of Liturgy the crusade around the cloister had been accomplished, in which, except the above mentioned official persons, Katanandov S. L. the Chairman of Government of Republic Karelia had taken part.
After the completion of the crusade His Holiness congratulated brethren, guests and pilgrims with altar feast of the cloister and has handed to Abbot of the monastery the Ark with relics of Russian Saints, among which there was also the particle of relics of St. Antipa of the Valaam .
"Since this day", the Patriarch has told, " St. Antipa of the Valaam, earlier canonized by the Romanian Church is brought into the Book of months of Russian Orthodox Church".
The Synod of Saints of the Valaam was enlarged by one more saint righteous man, glorified in Saints. The believers of Russia and, what is more, brethren and admirers of Valaam cloister have found new heavenly prayer before the Altar of God in Heaven. From multitude of Valaam hermits he is the second, after the German of Alaska, saint and adherent of Sts. Sergy and German, Valaam miracle-workers, glorified by Church.. It is interesting to mark the fact, that both saints had been canonized by other Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, and Russian Church just had brought in them in Book of months. " This is the great event in life of revived cloister of Valaam, it has huge significance for spiritual life of Valaam cloister and this day will have entered in the history of the monastery "-Abbot archimandrite Pankraty of Valaam monastery has told.
"Now the materials for canonization of other Valaam hermits are prepared, and at the nearest Archbishops Local there will be solved the problem of canonization of Orthodoxy confessors, Valaam monks who had accepted the martyr death from Swedes in XVII century and also newly-martyrs and confessors of Russia who were from Valaam monastery brethren and had suffered from repressions in Russia and Soviet Union in XX century".
Archimandrite Pankraty on behalf of brethren and pilgrims had congratulated His Holiness with the Feast and presented to His Holiness the icon of Sts. Sergy and German, written in the icon workshop of the cloister.
At 13-00 the Feast Meal in brethren's refectory was given, on which there had been the Patriarch, official persons, clergy and philanthropists of Valaam monastery. On last years tradition the remarkable Feast Meal for the guests and philanthropists of the cloister was philanthropically organized by Kovalevsky V. L. the president of Association of the Petersburg restaurants "East-West" - the builder of the temple in memory of Leningrad blockade on Okhta.
After the Meal, His Holiness and honored guests had visited on monastery ships the skete of St. John the Precursor and skete of All Saints, where they acquainted with the course of restoration.
Being come back from the sketes His Holiness had visited upper Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, where, having read the pray " Before the beginning of any good deed " he had blessed the beginning of restoration. Then, having kissed the shrine with the relics of Sts. Sergy and German, His Holiness had blessed the brethren of the cloister and had left for a helicopter landing place.
At 20-00 the Patriarch, Vladimir the Metropolitan, the governors and Chairman of Government of Republic Karelia had left Valaam island, but the memory of this remarkable day will be saved in souls of brethren and numerous pilgrims for a long time.