Russian Patriarch: People, church and government are united

The celebration of the 100th anniversary of the canonisation of Seraphim of Sarov only became possible thanks to the unity of the people, the Church and the government. This was announced by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexei II after the celebratory service which took place on Cathedral Square in Sarov today. This unity was 'broken by the tragic events of the twentieth century but now it has been renewed thanks to the prayers of Seraphim and our hard work,' said the patriarch.

As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, Alexei II mentioned that President Vladimir Putin had decided to take part in the Orthodox celebration and stressed that, although we live in a secular society, this does not mean that the Church is inaccessible to the people. 'Find peace in yourself and thousands around you will be saved,' the patriarch quoted Saint Seraphim. 'Inner peace is essential in order to create a great nation,' Alexei II emphasised.

After the service there was a religious procession bearing the relics of Seraphim from Sarov to Diveyevo. Thousands of believers will also make the 19.5 kilometre journey.

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