ROC is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the death of Patriarch Alexy II

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Mackinderite in photovacation of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II. Archival photoROC is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the death of Patriarch Alexy II© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Mackinderite the image Bank

The Russian Orthodox Church on Wednesday, December 5, marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Patriarch Alexy II (1929-2008).

Alexy II, more than 18 years headed the Russian Orthodox Church, died on December 5, 2008 on 80-m to year of life.

«On the tenth anniversary of the repose of his Holiness Patriarch Alexy II Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill will make a memorial service at the grave of the 15th Primate of the Russian Church in the Annunciation side-chapel of the Epiphany Cathedral of Moscow. The beginning of worship, 11.00», — told RIA Novosti in the press service of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The former head of the Patriarchal press service Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky, who worked with Patriarch Alexy II since the early 2000s, years before the death of the Primate, recalls that his Patriarchate was associated «with a unique page in the history of the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church.»

«For example, since 1990 we have a thousand churches a year have been opened, in the history of the Church never had anything like it. And what is the opening of the temple? This people is a huge number of people that participated in its reconstruction, the community formed around the Church, and this is the main «Luggage», — told RIA Novosti Vigilyansky.

According to him, Patriarch Alexy II was endowed with a special inner strength: «some Kind of charisma it was.»

«I saw that people gloomy, officials, and suddenly he appeared, and they immediately had a smile, a tenderness. He acted on people magnetically. Of course, he was a very charming man in communication. Patriarch Alexy II carried with them a special atmosphere, the world, and he could be silent — and it was felt in its silence. The atmosphere of reliability and strength… He had the power of approval of the truth», — said the Agency interlocutor.

Patriarch Alexy II (in the world Alexey Mihajlovich Ridiger) was born on 23 February 1929 in Tallinn in a family of believers. He studied at the St. Petersburg (Leningrad) theological Academy, was ordained a priest and appointed rector of the Epiphany Church of jõhvi, Tallinn diocese.

In 1961 in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, the future Patriarch took monastic vows. In the same year, 32-year-old Alexy was Bishop of Tallinn and Estonian, and three years later Archbishop, the administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate and a permanent member of the Holy Synod. In 1968, at the age of 39, Archbishop Alexy was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan, eight years later appointed Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod.

To the Patriarchal throne, Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod Alexy was elected on 7 June 1990 by the decision of the local Council of the ROC which took place in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. The enthronement ceremony of Patriarch took place June 10, at Epiphany Cathedral of Moscow. Fifth day of December 2008 Patriarch Alexy II died at his country residence in Peredelkino on 80-m to year of life. He was buried on 9 December in the right, the Annunciation side-chapel of the Epiphany (Yelokhovsky) Cathedral. Such was the will of the late Primate.

With the name Alexy II connect spiritual revival of Russia. He actively promoted interreligious cooperation and interaction with the state. For 18 years of his Patriarchy, the Church was able to carry out is religious-educational and charities, ministering in hospitals, houses for aged, in army and prisons. It was formed by a large number of new dioceses, restored and built many temples and monasteries, opened more than hundred spiritual educational institutions. From abroad was returned to a Shrine.

In 1993, in the period of socio-political crisis, fraught with civil war, the Patriarch has initiated the negotiations of the conflicting parties and was an intermediary. He has performed with the peace initiatives in connection with conflicts in the Balkans, Armenian-the Azerbaijan opposition, events in Moldova and in the North Caucasus, the situation in the middle East, the military actions in South Ossetia in 2008.

The most important historical event was the reunification of the ROC with the Russian Orthodox Church after nearly 90 years of separation generated by the revolution and civil war. In may 2007, Patriarch Alexy II and the first Hierarch of the Russian Church abroad, Metropolitan Laurus signed the Act of canonical communion, restoring the spiritual unity of the Russian Orthodox people.