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  Friday, November 27, 2020
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Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, sanctified on Friday the central cathedral of the Transfiguration Monastery in the Valaam Island
After the end of the restoration of the cathedral, which lasted for some 15 years, the Valaam monastery now looks the way it used to look before. It was called “northern Athos” for its beauty. “We remember the deplorable condition in which the cathedral found itself some time ago, and now we are grateful to the Lord, because we see its beauty restored,” Alexy II said. After that he conducted a divine service in the restored cathedral, which was devoted to the great feast of the Transfiguration of Christ. Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov is expected to come to the Valaam Island to attend the celebrations. In the afternoon he will visit an air defence unit, deployed in Valaam, together with Patriarch Alexy II, where the latter will sanctify the foundation of a cathedral, devoted to St. George the Victorious. The Transfiguration Cathedral was built some 100 years ago at the place, where, according to a legend, the relics of St. Sergius and Gherman, who founded the Valaam monastery some 1,000 years ago, are buried. In Soviet times, when the monastery premises housed a naval school, its frescoes were destroyed, and the cathedral was rebuilt. The Valaam monastery was one of the first monasteries that were given back to the Russian Orthodox Church at the end of the 20th century. The enormous two-storeyed Transfiguration Cathedral is the symbol of Valaam. It is 43 metres high, and the bell tower is 72 metres high. Up till now services were conducted only on the first floor, in the church devoted to the Reverend Sergius and Gherman of Valaam. There are some 200 monks living in the Valaam Monastery. Monasticism is being revived as well in six hermit communities situated all over the picturesque Valaam Archipelago
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