The Patriarch made an appeal on the occasion of the Day of sobriety

© RIA Novosti / Boris to Ignataviciute in fotoreceptori icons Usenovna the head of John the BaptistThe Patriarch made an appeal on the occasion of the Day of sobriety© RIA Novosti / Boris to Ignataviciute the image Bank

Temperance day is celebrated on Tuesday in Russia, in all Orthodox churches on this day, offering special prayers for healing from alcoholism.

The first celebration of the Day of sobriety took place in 1911 in St. Petersburg, in 1914 it began to celebrate regularly. Date September 11 was not chosen by chance — on this day the Orthodox world remembers the death of John the Baptist on a drunken feast in the Palace of the Jewish king Herod. On this day, the faithful observe a strict fast, before the revolution in Russia closed down the liquor store and stopped the sale of alcoholic beverages.

In the Soviet Union the Day of sobriety was the tradition resumed in 2005. The holiday was restored on the initiative of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill made a special address on the occasion of Day of sobriety, noting that it is set «in a reminder of the horrible consequences of excessive alcohol consumption».

«Unfortunately, often people elect imaginary pleasures, that result in grief not only for them but for their loved ones. Many of our compatriots in search of momentary pleasures fall into alcohol or other addiction, dying soul and body,» the letter reads.

The Primate of the Russian Church expressed satisfaction that today in many dioceses opened rehabilitation and counselling centres are operating to the brotherhood and groups of sobriety, there are activities for prevention of alcoholism and popularization of the ideas of a sober lifestyle. However, he acknowledged, still a lot of work.

«Only in narcological institutions are more than 1.5 million Russians, and to help people who are dependent on people to return to a normal and sober life, it is necessary to continue this work, including in cooperation with state and public organizations», — said the Patriarch.

The decision of the Holy Synod in July 2016 was adopted the concept for asserting temperance and preventing alcoholism, and in 2012, the Church adopted a document «On participation in rehabilitation of drug addicts». Today, in dozens of religious charities and rehabilitation centers to receive help alcohol addicted people and their relatives.