PATRIARCH KIRILL
His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Here, on Corfu, the age-old friendship of our countries has been made even stronger by the Russian sailors who, led by Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, liberated the island from occupation forces....
Dear brothers and sisters,

For the second year in a row the residents of Corfu are welcoming the delegates from Russia participating in the Festival «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries». Hosted with the support of the Kerkyra city government and the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, the festival not only helps the development of the Russian-Greek relations, but also, and that is especially important, gives the fraternal nation of Hellas an opportunity to learn more about the rich national culture of Russia.

Here, on Corfu, the age-old friendship of our countries has been made even stronger by the Russian sailors who, led by Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, liberated the island from occupation forces. The heroic deed of our ancestors, who had proven the truthfulness of the gospel precept that says «Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends» (John 15, 13), was crowned with a victory and was gratefully accepted by the Greek nation. With the upcoming 200th anniversary of Admiral Ushakov's repose this fall, the people of Corfu have built a monument in memory of the illustrious naval commander, one of the Kerkyra streets bears his name, and every year the city holds memorial days in his honor. But the most important thing is that today, numbered by the Russian Orthodox Church with the saints, the righteous warrior Fyodor advocates for the fraternal nations of Greece and Russia at the throne
of God.

Let his prayer move God to protect our countries from all evil, and let it send blessing and peace to our people.

PATRIARCH KIRILL
His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Sergey STEPASHIN
The Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox
Palestine Society
Let me extend my heartfelt welcome to the participants and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries»...
Let me extend my heartfelt welcome to the participants and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries»!

Over hundreds of years, Russia and Greece have shared versatile unbreakable bonds of spiritual kinship, common cultural roots, as well as interweaving of human fate and fortunes. One of the brightest spots in the history of Russia deals with the marriage of Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan III to Greek Princess Sofia Paleologos, a niece of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI. The family life of Ivan III and Sofia was successful, as evidenced by numerous children born in wedlock. They had 12 children, and one of them later became Sovereign and Grand Prince of All Rus' Vasily III.

The rule of Ivan III was the golden age of Russian culture. Artists and architects who came to Moscow with Princess Sofia embellished the capital of Rus'. Italian Alberti Fioravanti built the Cathedral of the Dormition and the Cathedral of the Annunciation on the territory of Kremlin. Adorned with Kremlin's towers, the Faceted Chamber and the Archangel Cathedral, Moscow became very beautiful. In 1497, the ancient coat of arms of the Byzantine Empire – the double-headed eagle – be came as the coat of arms of Rus'. Two heads of the eagle turned to face Europe and Asia symbolize the unity of East and West, harmonious interaction between the state power and church, coexistence of different cultures in a single country. The best traditions of Orthodox Byzantium were embraced by the Muscovite state and laid the groundwork for the unity of many nations living
in Christian Rus'.

I am sure that the Festival will promote the strengthening of friendship, mutual understanding and expansion of multilateral cooperation between our countries.

SERGEY STEPASHIN
Chairman of the Imperial
Orthodox Palestine Society
Chairman at the Organizing Committee of the Festival
«Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries»
Sergey LAVROV
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation
Greece has long been a partner for Russia in Europe. Our countries share centuries-long ties of friendship and mutual affinity, and a feeling of cultural, civilizational and spiritual unity.....
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the organizers, participants and guests of the second International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries».

Greece has long been a partner for Russia in Europe. Our countries share centuries-long ties of friendship and mutual affinity, and a feeling of cultural, civilizational and spiritual unity. Held under the auspices of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, this Festival contributes to the strengthening of the diverse ties connecting Russia and Greece. A clear evidence of that contribution is the success of the first event that was an important part of the Year of Russia in Greece and the Year of Greece in Russia.

It is deeply symbolic that this forum honors the holy righteous warrior – Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, an illustrious Russian naval commander and the liberator of the Ionian Islands. We are pleased to see that Greece commemorates our outstanding compatriot, remembers the role of Russia in the establishment and development of the modern Greek statehood. Commemorating the glorious events of our common past helps us maintain our mutual trust and promote a constructive bilateral agenda for the benefit of our
people.

I have no doubt that this year once again the rich program of the Festival will offer many interesting moments to the lovers of culture. I wish you all the best and may you make many pleasant memories.

Sergey Lavrov
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Vladimir MEDINSKY
Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation
Today's strong humanitarian and cultural ties of Russia and Greece have a proud history and date back to ancient times....
Dear friends,

I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings to the organizers, participants and guests of the second International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries»!

Today's strong humanitarian and cultural ties of Russia and Greece have a proud history and date back to ancient times. The rich spiritual traditions of Holy Rus' had originated in Byzantium, and it was the Russian Empire that came to the aid of the Greek nation of common faith during the trying time when Greece struggled for independence.

I would like to emphasize that the 2016 bilateral Russian-Greek year has demonstrated an unprecedented mutual cultural interest, which was celebrated through several dozens of diverse events. It is encouraging to see that the results of that initiative continue to evolve. For the second year in a row, Corfu hosts the Festival of Christian Culture, a program that includes a variety of concerts, spiritual and memorial events. It is symbolic that this year, the Festival coincides with the 200th anniversary of the repose of an illustrious Russian admiral who took part in the fateful Siege of Corfu in 1798-1799 – the holy righteous warrior Fyodor
Ushakov.

I have no doubt that this Festival will serve to further strengthen the Russian-Greek relations, make us even more aware of the affinity of our cultures and the kindred nature of our civilizational worldview. I sincerely wish you to make the most incredible memories and have a good time!

Vladimir Medinsky
Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation
Nikolay PANKOV
State Secretary – Deputy Minister
of Defense of the Russian Federation
I would like to welcome and congratulate you on the opening of the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture! The International Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries» is becoming a prominent event in the public life of our countries and of the entire Orthodox community; it is a powerful tool promoting mutual understanding and consolidation....
Dear fellow citizens, dear guests,

On behalf of the military personnel of the Russian Armed Forces, I would like to welcome and congratulate you on the opening of the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture!

The International Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries» is becoming a prominent event in the public life of our countries and of the entire Orthodox community; it is a powerful tool promoting mutual understanding and consolidation.

This year, the Festival commemorates a remarkable date – the 200th anniversary of the repose of Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, the liberator of the Ionian Islands.

During his famous Mediterranean Campaign, holy righteous warrior Fyodor Ushakov proved to be not only a great naval commander, but also a wise statesman, merciful Christian and a patron of the peoples he liberated.

The unity of the peoples of Russia and Greece is the main legacy and asset of our history. Defenders of the homeland remember it, honor the military traditions, and selflessly serve their country. We will continue to maintain and protect the brotherhood of our nations forged by our common history and by the fate.

May this International Festival be successful and fruitful and may its participants live in peace and prosper.

Nikolay Pankov
State Secretary – Deputy Minister
of Defense of the Russian Federation
Irina YAROVAYA
Deputy Chairwoman at the State Duma of the Russian Federation
Russia and Greece have been sharing common Orthodox values established by older generations over centuries. Profound ethical narratives and ideas intrinsic to our common faith form the basis of multifaceted friendship that exists between our nations and countries....
Let me extend my heartfelt welcome to the organizers, participants and guests of the 2nd International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries»!

Russia and Greece have been sharing common Orthodox values established by older generations over centuries. Profound ethical narratives and ideas intrinsic to our common faith form the basis of multifaceted friendship that exists between our nations and countries.

We see that these values are currently exposed to gantlet and even violence in other countries, and therefore require protection on the part of our states. Moral integrity, aspiration for retaining sovereignty and individuality of our peoples and nations, Christian willingness to render aid to neighbors in their time of need – all these things form a foundation that will help us create and protect the common space of security, which is to enable Christianity to take up a strong position, instead of holding a weak, defensive and vulnerable one.

At all times, Christian culture has always been a sort of protective charm for our peoples and guardian of traditions as it enables us to convey spirituality, creativity, as well as power of belief and truth to the world. I am sure that the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries» will allow us to strengthen friendship, mutual understanding and extend multilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Irina Yarovaya
Deputy Chairwoman at the State Duma of the Russian Federation
Olga YEPIFANOVA
Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma
of the Russian Federation
Over centuries, our countries have shared strong ties of Orthodox and cultural traditions, historical events, mutual support and cordial attitude towards each other...
Dear friends, organizers and participants of the second International Charity Festival of Christian Culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries,

Dear Pavel Alexandrovich,

I am happy to welcome all those involved in this wonderful event organized for the sake of friendly relations between the peoples of Russia and Greece. Over centuries, our countries have shared strong ties of Orthodox and cultural traditions, historical events, mutual support and cordial attitude towards each other. In times of trouble and turning points of history, our fraternal nations would stand shoulder to shoulder to fend off the attacks of enemies by combined efforts and defend our faith, freedom and independence.

This year, the Festival is confined to the 200th anniversary of the death of holy righteous warrior Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, liberator of Corfu and Ionian Islands, whom Greeks respect and remember.

I am pleased to see that, despite the mixed political trends observed in the world, Russia has a good and reliable friend in Europe that is Greece. Both countries continue to keep and develop the friendly relations established between the two nations. The International Charity Festival of Christian Culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries is a vivid evidence of such continuity.

I am sure that this heart-warming tradition will never fade away, and the ties between Russia and Greece will become even stronger year after year, as culture and creative work constitute one of the most sure-fire ways to the heart of each other regardless of borders and distances that separate the two nations.

Olga Yepifanova
Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma
of the Russian Federation
Lyubov GLEBOVA

Head of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo)
Our countries have been connected by many centuries of cordial relations and cultural ties. There are very few examples of such close friendship of nations in the human history....
Dear friends,

On behalf of Rossotrudnichestvo, I am pleased to welcome the participants and organizers of the second International Charity Festival of Christian Culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries!

Our countries have been connected by many centuries of cordial relations and cultural ties. There are very few examples of such close friendship of nations in the human history. On numerous occasions, Russians and Greeks have been coming to each other's aid in trying times, becoming brothers in arms in defense of the Orthodox faith and freedom of their countries.

This year the Festival honors Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Trimythous, and commemorates the 200th anniversary of the death of the righteous warrior – Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, the liberator of Corfu and the Ionian Islands. That adds a symbolic meaning to the Festival and reaffirms that our Christian heritage of the past continues to connect us today.

Always staying outside of politics, culture today has become particularly important. It serves as a stable foundation that helps preserve and develop friendship among nations.

I have no doubt that the Festival will help bring together those people who share one faith, and that the friendship of our countries will continue strong in the future.

Lyubov Glebova
Head of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo)
Costas NIKOLOUZOS
Mayor of the City of Kerkyra
Russians are a fraternal nation for Greeks. We share common history, religion, culture and deep mutual affinity. Many Greeks know well and value Russian paintings, music and literature...
I am happy to welcome the participants and guests of the 2nd International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries»!

Russians are a fraternal nation for Greeks. We share common history, religion, culture and deep mutual affinity. Many Greeks know well and value Russian paintings, music and literature. To us, the names of such Russian writers as Pushkin, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky probably mean much more than to other Europeans.

Last year, the Island of Corfu hosted the 1st International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries», which was held within the framework of Russian-Greek Bilateral Year. This Festival with participation of creative groups from Russia and Greece was a success as the event attracted about 10,000 guests.

This year, the Festival coincides with a remarkable date – 200th anniversary of the repose of Russian Admiral Fyodor Ushakov. The residents of Corfu are grateful to him and hold his memory sacred. In Kerkyra, there is a monument to admiral, and his memorial days are celebrated annually. Moreover, one of the city streets is named after Ushakov.

I am sure that holding the Festival during the festivities devoted to Saint Spyridon of Trimythous will contribute to attracting more guests from Russia. The people will get acquainted and come closer to each other, which is to promote strengthening of friendship and cooperation between our
countries!

Costas NIKOLOUZOS
Mayor of the City of Kerkyra
Pavel KARPUKHIN
The head of the Youth section
of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, President of the International charity festival
of Christian culture Russia – Greece:
Together through the ages

Opening the Russian-Greek Bilateral Year, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Greece is a friendly nation connected with Russia by unique ties based on historic roots. We have common values rooted in Orthodox Christianity.....
Coming to the hospitable land of Greece, we get a unique opportunity to plunge into the atmosphere of ancient culture that has given Archimedes, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Homer to the world. It is a chance to talk to remarkable people, our brothers in faith, and, naturally, take part in the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries».

Opening the Russian-Greek Bilateral Year, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Greece is a friendly nation connected with Russia by unique ties based on historic roots. We have common values rooted in Orthodox Christianity. Hierarchs from Orthodox Byzantium were the first pastors of the Russian people. The Greek land gave birth to the creators of Cyrillic alphabet. Moreover, kinship ties have connected many outstanding Greeks and Russians over the centuries.

St. Spyridon of Trimythous, Patron of Corfu, is a revered saint in both Russia and Greece. Year after year, thousands of Russians visit Corfu to take part in festivities devoted to this saint. This year, we also commemorate a remarkable date – 200th anniversary of the repose of holy righteous warrior Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, liberator of Corfu and Ionian Islands, who is revered in Greece as well.

I am sure that the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture «Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries» will promote further strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the nations of Russia and Greece and contribute to retaining the Christian roots of the European civilization.

Pavel Karpukhin
President of the International Charity Festival of Christian Culture
«Russia – Greece: Together through the centuries»
2016
WELCOME ADDRESSES
OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CHARITY FESTIVAL
OF THE CHRISTIAN CULTURE
"RUSSIA - GREECE: TOGETHER AGAIN"
Sergey STEPASHIN
The Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox
Palestine Society
The friendship between the peoples of Russia and Greece goes into the depths of time...
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am glad to greet the participants and organizers of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries!

The friendship between the peoples of Russia and Greece goes into the depths of time. In 957 AD Princess Olga, ruler of the Ancient Russian state, visited the capital of the Byzantine Empire and converted to Christianity. In 988 AD her grandson Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich Christianized the Ancient Rus, thus laying the new foundation of the continuously growing communication between the Greeks and the Slavs.

Numerous Greek scholars, monks, priests and translators of sacred books had not only helped the Russians absorb the Byzantine culture, but also played significant parts in the history of the Russian state. Everyone in Russia today knows the names of such Greek scholars, bishops and statesmen as holy equal-to-apostles brothers Cyril and Methodius, creators of the Church Slavonic alphabet and language; Michael Trivolis, better known as the venerable Maximus the Greek, church writer and translator; saint bishop Arsenius of Elasson who became the Archbishop of Suzdal and Tarusa; Ioannis Kapodistrias, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the court of the Russian Emperor Alexander I, who later became the first President of Greece; brothers Joannicus and Sophronius Leichoudes, the main figures behind the establishing in 1687 of the Slavo-Greco-Latin Academy, the first Russian higher education institution which in 1755 became known as the Moscow University. Among its graduates were the great polymath and scientist Mikhail Lomonosov, mathematician Leonty Magnitsky, the first Russian Doctor of Medicine Piotr Postnikov, architect Vasily Bazhenov and many others.

For many centuries, united by the common religion and common cultural traditions, our peoples have been supporting each other in their struggle for freedom and independence.

I am certain that the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries will foster the development of relations between our two countries, serve to strengthen our friendship and enhance cooperation between Russia and Greece.

Sergey STEPASHIN
The Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society
Sergey NARYSHKIN
The Chairman of the State Duma
of the sixth convocation
of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly
Your Festival is a striking example of the ongoing dialogue between Russia and Greece in different spheres, and of their mutual aspiration to protect the spiritual legacy and further develop the cultural ties that unite our two countries...
I welcome the organizers, participants and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries.

Your Festival is a striking example of the ongoing dialogue between Russia and Greece in different spheres, and of their mutual aspiration to protect the spiritual legacy and further develop the cultural ties that unite our two countries.

I am convinced that the festive atmosphere of the days of commemoration of Saint Spyridon of Trimythous, the patron saint of the Island of Corfu, will be conducive to the success of the Festival and to the strengthening of friendship between peoples.

I wish you success in all your endeavors, peace, goodwill and prosperity.

Sergey NARYSHKIN
The Chairman of the State Duma of the sixth convocation
of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly
Sergey LAVROV
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation
The multi-faceted relations between Russia and Greece are based on our common history, mutual civilizational values and the Orthodox religion....
My warmest greetings to the organizers, participants and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries.

The multi-faceted relations between Russia and Greece are based on our common history, common civilizational values and the Orthodox religion. The adoption of Christianity from the Byzantine Empire by Rus more than thousand years ago became one of the cornerstones in formation of the Russian national identity. In turn, Russia supporting the Greeks' brave struggle for independence played a key role in formation of modern Greece. Our peoples are united by a centuries-old tradition of mutual friendship and affinity, our partnership is stepping up in the 21st century.

The festival' venue is symbolic. The city of Kerkyra is closely connected with the highly worshiped Orthodox saints of our countries – Saint Spyridon, bishop of Trimythous, and Fyodor Ushakov. Today the island of Corfu is one of the most popular sites in Greece among Russian tourists and pilgrims.

I am convinced that your creative forum will become an outstanding holiday for every art connoisseur and an important part of the Russia – Greece Cross Cultural Year announced by our Presidents and will contribute to the development of the Russian-Greek humane and cultural contacts.

With all my heart I wish you success, a happy experience and all the very best.

Sergey LAVROV
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation
Vladimir MEDINSKY
Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation
And today, when we recall this miraculous victory over the aggressors, we should not forget that the entire Orthodox world and the Christian values which it professes is facing serious challenges and attacks from very different quarters....
Dear Friends!

With all my heart I welcome the organizers, participants and guests of the Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries!

The ardent prayer of Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Trimythous, who is deeply venerated by Orthodox faithful of Russia and Greece, exactly 3 centuries ago saved the town of Kerkyra from the siege of the Turkish army. And today, when we recall this miraculous victory over the aggressors, we should not forget that the entire Orthodox world and the Christian values which it professes is facing serious challenges and attacks from very different quarters.

Against such a background, our religious unity, our wish to preserve our culture and identity, our Christian aspiration to come to each other's help at a difficult moment, take on a particular value. I am convinced that this Festival, held in the Year of the Cross-Cultural reinforcement of the many-sided relations between Russia and Greece, should become yet another stimulus for drawing closer to each other and for increasing our knowledge of the rich cultures of our two peoples.

I cordially wish all the participants of the Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries Festival to achieve the goals they have set themselves, and to strengthen cooperation and mutual under¬standing and likewise faith in the inevitability of the victory of truth and justice!

Vladimir MEDINSKY
Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation
Lyubov GLEBOVA
Head of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and for International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo)
Our countries are linked by cordial relations and cultural ties which are many centuries old. In world history there are few other such examples of friendship between nations. The Russians and the Greeks came to each other's assistance more than once at critical moments, becoming brothers-in-arms in defense of the Orthodox faith and the freedom of their states...
Dear Friends!

I welcome the participants and organizers of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries!

Our countries are linked by cordial relations and cultural ties which are many centuries old. In world history there are few other such examples of friendship between nations. The Russians and the Greeks came to each other's assistance more than once at critical moments, becoming brothers-in-arms in defense of the Orthodox faith and the freedom of their states.

We are united by a common religion and a common history. It is not fortuitous that the Festival is taking place at the same time as the celebrations in memory of Saint Spyridon and under the aus-pices of the Russia-Greece Cross-Cultural Year. Thanks to such close mutual understanding and influence, many cultural and architectural monuments, and religious shrines are equally close and meaningful to both Russians and Greeks. This cultural code, formed many centuries ago, unites our peoples today too.

Unity and mutual support is extremely important and significant in present-day life, when official relations between countries can change due to a sudden switch in the political situation. It is for this very reason that the role of culture, which is independent of politics and has no frontiers, is now growing apace.

I am convinced that this Festival will reveal the rich spiritual potential which people of our two countries possess and will make an invaluable contribution to continuing cultural and interreligious dialogue.

Lyubov GLEBOVA
Head of the Federal Agency
for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad,
and for International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo)
Oleg SAFONOV
Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism
Russia and Greece are linked by a very old and close friendship. The history of our political, cultural and economic cooperation is already over a thousand years old. Our common cultural foundations and the close similarity of our mentalities act as a guarantee of mutual understanding and mutual disposition of our peoples...
Friends!

I welcome the guests and participants of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries.

Russia and Greece are linked by a very old and close friendship. The history of our political, cultural and economic cooperation is already over a thousand years old. Our common cultural foundations and the close similarity of our mentalities act as a guarantee of mutual understanding and mutual disposition of our peoples.

Today, despite all the complexities of the contemporary political situation, Greece and Russia remain key strategic partners. One of the most important directions in the cooperation of our countries is tourism.

For Russian tourists Greece was, is and will always be a precious depository of cultural, intellectual and historical values, while for pilgrims — it is a pearl of ancient Christianity. Rhodes, Crete, Corfu, the Peloponnesus, Halkidiki, as well as the mainland coast round Athens — are the favorite haunts of travelers from Russia. Today with our Greek colleagues we are conducting successful work in an attempt to make Greece more accessible for Russian tourists and to guarantee their safety in the country.

Greek interest in Russia is growing too, as is the number of tourists from Greece, visiting our country (in the first 3 quarters of 2015 alone — there was a 7% increase in tourist numbers). The Greeks are venturing further afield in their travels through the vast spaces of Russia. In addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg, they are also going to Pskov, Nizhny Novgorod and other unique old Russian towns.

Such tours are very important for strengthening friendship and mutual understanding between our peoples, which is based on a common and ancient foundation - the Orthodox faith - and we will certainly continue to work towards creating favorable conditions for the development of Russian-Greek exchange tourism.

I wish all the guests and participants of the Festival success in the realization of their goals, I hope they will be in a happy frame of mind, put the time to good use and enjoy themselves.

Oleg SAFONOV
Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism
Ilarion (ALFEEV)
Metropolitan of Volokolamsk,
Chairman The Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations

On behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, I welcome all of you who have gathered here on the Greek Island of Corfu in order to participate in the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries, which is being held under the auspices of the Year of Greece in Russia and of Russia in Greece...

Dear festival participants, brothers and sisters in Christ!

On behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, I welcome all of you who have gathered here on the Greek Island of Corfu in order to participate in the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries, which is being held under the auspices of the Year of Greece in Russia and of Russia in Greece.

The sincere friendship, mutual understanding and fundamental values, which are rooted in Orthodoxy, have long informed Russian- Greek relations. The Greek Orthodox Church is associated with the Christianization of Rus which brought our people the blessing of true faith, as well as introducing them to world culture.

The Greek East became for Slav peoples a precious source of life-enhancing faith and enlightenment. Prelates from Orthodox Byzantium were the first pastors of our people. The Greek land nurtured the Saints and Equal-to-Apostles Kyrill and Methodius, the creators of the Church Slavonic alphabet, the Likhud brothers Sophronius and Joannicus, founders of the Slavic Greek Latin Academy, the Venerable Maxim Grek, the great icon painter Theophanes the Greek and other outstanding men, who labored selflessly in our native land.

The Russian people have always reciprocated the love shown them by their Greek brethren. In the Russian Orthodox Church, Saint Bishop Spyridon of Trimythous, Saint Nectarios of Aegina, Saint Theodora, the Byzantine Empress, the great martyr Dmitri Solunsky, Saint Andrew of Crete and others, are deeply revered. Churches are consecrated in their honor, each year a great number of pilgrims from Russia make the journey to Greece to pay homage to their venerable relics.

In turn, when freedom was lacking and times were hard, Greece found a loyal ally in Russia. In the difficult years of Ottoman rule, the Russian Tsars, prominent statesmen and members of society considered it their duty to support the Greek churches and monasteries. In present - day Greece, the glorious saints of our land, St. Sergius of Radonezh and Seraphim Sarovsky, St. Luke of Crimea, the venerable warrior Theodore Ushakov and many others are widely known and venerated.

The history of the Russian presence in Greece is indissolubly bound to the ascetic tradition of Mount Athos. Founder of the Russian monasticism St. Antony Pechersky started his spiritual life on this land of Holy Mother of God. The tradition of our compatriots performing acts of religious devotion on Mount Athos (this year we celebrate its 1000th anniversary) gave a host of zealots to the Orthodox Christian Church.

An outstanding personality, who made a significant contribution to relations between Russia and Greece, was Olga Konstantinovna, Queen of the Hellenes, grand-daughter to Tsar Nicholas lst, and the direct ancestress of many present-day monarchs and their families. Actively involved in educational and charitable work, she founded a military-naval hospital, and was responsible for establishing a Russian Church and cemetery at the Russian naval base, in Piraeus.

Our common patristical and cultural legacy can and should serve as a firm basis for the further development and strengthening of the multi-sided and friendly relations which exist between our two countries. I am sure that, drawing on their many-centuries-old spiritual traditions and historical experience, our two nations can act in unison to preserve the Christian basis of European civilization.

I hope God will bless the Festival participants with creative inspiration and help them in their endeavor, and I wish peace and prosperity to the peoples of Russia and Greece.

Ilarion (ALFEEV)
Metropolitan of Volokolamsk,
Chairman The Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations
Svetlana MEDVEDEVA
The President of Fund socially-cultural initiatives
Sincerely glad to welcome participants and guests of the International charity festival of Christian culture "Russia – Greece. Together through the ages", which takes place in honor of the annual celebration of the day of memory of St. Spyridon of Trimythous...
To participants, organizers and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece. Together Through the Centuries.

Sincerely glad to welcome participants and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece. Together Through the Centuries, which takes place in honor of the annual celebration of the day of memory of St. Spyridon.

Close friendly relations between Russia and Greece was formed during the centuries. Mutual sympathy of our peoples is largely based on spiritual kinship and cultural proximity. 2016, the Year of the cross-the strengthening of multilateral relations between Russia and Greece, will give the citizens of both countries a unique opportunity to get acquainted with modern art each other. Including to enjoy the works of the Russian musicians the Festival, which this year is dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the liberation of Corfu from the Turkish invasion of 1716.

I would like to Express my sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to the organizers and wish all the guests of the Festival of bright, unforgettable impressions, festive mood, interesting meetings!

Svetlana MEDVEDEVA
The President of Fund socially-cultural initiatives
Costas NIKOLOUZOS
Mayor of the City of Kerkyra
The great friendship between our peoples, united by the common religion, strengthens our cooperation at all levels. The foundation of the Russo-Greek friendship had been laid at the time when Ioannis Kapodistrias and Fyodor Ushakov made their decisive contribution into the establishment of these relations...
I'm happy to greet the organizers, participants and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries, that have gathered on Corfu to take part in the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the liberation of the island from the Ottoman Empire.

This year we are celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Siege of Corfu and of the victory of the European forces — the historical event that put an end to the invasion of the Ottoman Empire into Central Europe.

This is a historic occasion, and its importance for Europe can hardly be overestimated. Every year in commemoration of this event we hold a festive procession in honor of Saint Spyridon, the patron of the island.

I am especially glad that guests from Russia are able to participate in the festivities dedicated to this important occasion.

The great friendship between our peoples, united by the common religion, strengthens our cooperation at all levels. The foundation of the Russo-Greek friendship had been laid at the time when Ioannis Kapodistrias and Fyodor Ushakov made their decisive contribution into the establishment of these relations.

We must greatly cherish the historical events and the persons that bring us together.
I would like to express my thanks to the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and to wish everyone a happy sojourn on Corfu.

Costas NIKOLOUZOS
Mayor of the City of Kerkyra
Pavel KARPUKHIN
The head of the Youth section
of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, President of the International charity festival
of Christian culture Russia – Greece:
Together through the ages

Our festival is dedicated to one of the most venerated saints of all the Orthodox peoples — Saint Bishop Spyridon of Trimythous, whose intercession saved the island's population from the invasion of the Ottoman Porta...
My heartfelt greetings to the organizers, participants and guests of the International Charity Festival of Christian culture Russia – Greece: Together Through the Centuries, which is held on a memorable date — 300 years since the miraculous liberation of the island of Corfu from the Turkish invasion of 1716.

Our festival is dedicated to one of the most venerated saints of all the Orthodox peoples — Saint Bishop Spyridon of Trimythous, whose intercession saved the island's population from the invasion of the Ottoman Porta.

I hope that through the prayers of Saint Bishop Spyridon our festival will also help strengthen the spirit of all Christians who are being victimized and persecuted now.

I'm sure that the festival will encourage the development of the relations between Russia and Greece, stronger friendship and closer cooperation between our fraternal peoples.

With all my heart I wish success, happiness and well-being upon all the participants of the festival.

Pavel KARPUKHIN
The head of the Youth section of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society,
President of the International charity festival of Christian culture
Russia – Greece: Together through the ages
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