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Moscow patriarch wraps up visit

Trip marked Orthodox saint's centenary

Patriarch Kirill offered prayers for the victims of the Sendai earthquake Patriarch Kirill offered prayers for the victims of the Sendai earthquake
  • ucanews.com correspondent, Tokyo
  • Japan
  • September 20, 2012
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Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow wound up a five-day trip to Japan on Tuesday which took him to Tokyo, Hokodate and earthquake ravaged Sendai.

Patriarch Kirill’s visit was to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Orthodox Archbishop Nicholas of Japan, who laid the foundation for the Orthodox Church’s arrival in Japan.  However, he also took the opportunity to offer prayers for the victims of last year's devastating Sendai earthquake, meet with survivors and offer support for those who were affected by the disaster.

Archbishop Nicholas (1832 – 1912), canonized as a saint of the Orthodox Church,was given the title “Equal-to-the-Apostles” in honor of his work in Japan. After his arrival in 1861 to serve as priest in a chapel attached to the Russian consulate in Hokodate, Nicholas devoted his life to the development of the Orthodox Church in Japan.

On Sunday, Patriarch Kirill celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo to commemorate the anniversary of Nicholas’ death.

He later unveiled the Japanese translation of a book he had written at an event at a Tokyo hotel. The proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the repairing of Orthodox churches damaged in natural disasters.

Patriarch Kirill met with the emperor on Tuesday, before returning to Moscow.

Japan is home to about 10,000 Orthodox Christians.
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