The pilgrimage of the Chinese Orthodox faithful to Russia concluded with their visit to St. Petersburg from May 6 to 9, 2016. On May 7, the guests of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia venerated the shrines of the Navy Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Kronshtadt and were introduced to the past and present of the main church of the Russian Navy.
After the evening service at the Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral in Petergof, the descendants of the Chinese Orthodox clergy and young Chinese Orthodox faithful from Beijing and Harbin were warmly welcomed by the rector of the cathedral, Archpriest Pavel Kudryashov.
On May 8, the Second Sunday of Pascha, the Chinese pilgrims attended the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration in St. Petersburg, which was celebrated by Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, assisted by Archpriest Nikolay Bryndin, rector of the cathedral and head of the diocesan department for church charity and social service, Archpriest Sergiy Kuksevich, dean of the central district of St. Petersburg and rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection (Saviour-on-the-Blood), and the cathedral’s clergy. Welcoming the guests from China, Metropolitan Varsonofy noted the significance of a shared prayer of Russian and Chinese faithful on the day when the Church commemorates St. Thomas whose name is associated with the beginning of Christian preaching in China.
At the Cathedral of the Life-Giving Trinity of the Izmailovsky Regiment of Life Guards, the pilgrims venerated the part of the relics of St. Thomas. The rector of the cathedral, mitre-bearing Archpriest Gennady Bartov introduced them to the history and shrines of the church and invited them to share a meal with him.
In the evening, the Chinese guests visited the St. Alexander Nevsky Laura and came to the grave of the head of the 9th Russian Orthodox Mission in China, Father Hyacinth (Bichurin). At the Trinity Cathedral, the Chinese faithful venerated the relics of the Most Orthodox Prince Alexander Nevsky. The guests were invited to share supper with the brethren.
On May 9, the 71st anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Chinese delegation was present at the military parade in the Palace Square in St. Petersburg. After that, the guests of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill visited the church of the Protomartyr and Conqueror George at Kupchino, where they were welcomed by Paschal sticheras sung by the parish rector and clergy. The Chinese faithful venerated the part of the St. George’s relics, which is kept in the church. The delegation and the clergy engaged in a brotherly talk.
The descendants of the Chinese Orthodox clergy from Beijing and Harbin departed for China from Pulkovo airport via Moscow.
In 2013, during his visit to the PRC, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, met with descendants of the Albazinian Cossacks and invited Chinese Orthodox Christians to come on a visit to Russia. In keeping with the Patriarchal blessing, the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, with the support of the director of the Inter-State Development Corporation, Ivan Polyakov, and the Russian-Chinese Business Council, organized this pilgrimage to Russia for descendants of the Chinese Orthodox clergy and young Chinese Orthodox faithful.