Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia is to visit Valaam island on Lake Ladoga today, July 10th, spending two days there. (Lake Ladoga is located in north-western Russia -- Ed.) The Valaam monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is located on this island. Patriarch Alexis II, who is the monastery's father superior, visits its parish every year.
According to the St. Petersburg diocese, Alexis II first came to the monastery as a little boy in 1938.
Alexis II will hold prayer services at different smaller and secluded monasteries on the island July 10th, reports the press service of the Karelian republican government. (The island is located on Karelia's territory -- Ed.) Moreover, Alexis II will pray at the St. Sergius and St. Gherman cathedral, which is dedicated to the memory of the two local miracle-makers.
Alexis II will attend the opening of a new administrative building and its consecration ceremony that same day. This revamped building will house the insular administration, a police station, a library, a post office and the administration of the Valaam nature preserve.
On July 11th Alexis II will take part in a festive religious procession in honour of the monastery's official holiday and that of its founders, i.e. Saints Sergius and Gherman.
Alexis II will leave for St. Petersburg July 11th, holding a solemn prayer service at the city's Kazan cathedral July 12th in honour of the Leningrad region's 75-th anniversary.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969