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from issue no. 01/02 - 2011

“The face of our people revealed itself to the world”

by Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

“The history of the icons is stunning. By order of the authorities they should have been destroyed, and instead there were men, confessors of the faith, who risked their lives and instead of destroying the icons, enclosed them in niches, spread concrete over them, put on a layer of paint and pretended that the icons had been destroyed.
In this history of the icons, there is a symbol of what happened to our people in the twentieth century. It was put about that the true aims and values, the sacred things had been destroyed, that the faith had disappeared from the life of our people. To some this was necessary, and many pretended that precisely this had happened. Whereas the faith of our people had not disappeared at all; it was preserved in our grandmothers and mothers, it was preserved thanks to the confessors and martyrs, it was safeguarded by those who did not hesitate to give their lives to keep the faith. And when through the mercy of God what is happening today with these icons was able to fulfil itself in the people and in our country, the face of our people revealed itself to the world. “


(from his speech in Moscow’s Red Square on 28 August 2010, at the unveiling and blessing of the icon of the Savior of Smolensk on the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin)

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