Patriarch Kirill: the Trinity Cathedral in Paris – a symbol of the proximity of Russia and France

Патриарх Кирилл: Троицкий собор в Париже - символ близости России и Франции

New Cathedral the Trinity Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in the centre of Paris on the Quai Branly — a symbol of the closeness of the cultures and traditions of the peoples of Russia and France, said the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill on Sunday after the consecration of the Cathedral and of the first divine Liturgy in it.

“On par, perhaps, with the bridge Alexander III, this Church is a visible architectural symbol of the special closeness of our peoples, our cultures and our traditions… It is not only a monument to our good relations in the past is undoubtedly a symbol of what awaits us in the future”, — said the Patriarch.

He quoted the words recently spoken to him in England, one known to the enlightened person, the Patriarch did not say: “what is happening today between Russia and Western Europe — the wind on the roof hits”. “And inside, the house people live, past and present, warming themselves by the fireplace… what in the house is most important. Because today the wind is blowing from one side, tomorrow the other,” — said the Primate of the Russian Church.

He conveyed heartfelt gratitude to France and its people for the hospitality accorded to the immigrants from Russia after the revolution. “And today, many have already for other reasons, come to France from our country. They come with their experience, and many believe in God and I consider it important for themselves to be faithful children of the Church,” — said the Patriarch.

He recalled that during the 85 years the Cathedral of the Russian Church in France was a small temple on the street of the Loops, located at first in the garage then on the first floor of the building. Patriarch Kirill expressed his deep gratitude to France and its top leadership for the opportunity to respond to the requests of the Russian side to get a wonderful site on the banks of the Seine to build a “great Cathedral, Russian Cathedral and spiritual and cultural educational center”. “It is a great support for our people who live in France,” — said the Primate of Moscow.

It is symbolic, he also considers the consecration of the Cathedral on the day of a big religious holiday — the Introduction in temple Presvjatoj of the virgin. “God grant that the time has come when we all as children of God, having passed the difficult historical way of searching, lost and found, joys and disappointments, we climb the steps towards God. And the symbol of this meeting is the temple of God. Let the God’s temple will be the meeting place of God with men, and the great experience of contact with the Divine help to overcome today’s difficulties”, — said the Patriarch.

He gave the temple a copy of the most revered in Moscow of the Iveron icon of the Mother of God, and everyone who came into the historic Liturgy, the icon of the Holy Trinity. The Patriarch expressed a special thanks to all who participated in the construction of the Cathedral and spiritual and cultural center on the Quai Branly, including the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France Francois Hollande, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, Bishop Nestor of Korsun. The Patriarch also welcomed those present at the service of the wife of the Russian Prime Minister Svetlana Medvedeva.

Bishop Nestor of Korsun, in turn, noted that Patriarch Kirill was “the first person who really believed that it (the construction of the new Cathedral and spiritual and cultural center) is possible”. To commemorate the historic event, the Bishop gave the Patriarch the icon of Saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris.

The historic Liturgy in the new Church of the Russian Orthodox Church, built in the prestigious 7th arrondissement of the French capital near the Eiffel tower, there were about 500 people. Among the honored guests, according to the press Secretary of the Patriarch priest of Alexander Volkov, the head of Fund socially-cultural initiatives Svetlana Medvedeva, Manager of the President of the Russian Federation Alexander Kolpakov, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Andrew Foundation and World public forum “Dialogue of civilizations” the ex-President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin. The service was attended by famous names of the Russian emigration, Russian popular singer Mireille Mathieu and model Natalia Vodianova, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, the papal Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the permanent Secretary of the French Academy, winner of the award of Fund of unity of Orthodox peoples Ellen D Career Anko, the Ambassador of Russia in France Alexander Orlov. Part of the chants sounded in French.

Land for spiritual and cultural center with a new large (500 people) temple on the banks of the Seine on the Quai Branly, near the Eiffel tower was acquired by the office of the President of the Russian Federation in March 2010. In April 2015, a solemn laying of the first stone of the future center, and on 19 October of 2016 he’s already opened: the opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of culture of Russia Vladimir Medinsky and the head of the Moscow Patriarchate on foreign institutions Bishop Bogorodskiy Anthony. —0-