Archbishop of America Demetrios is currently on an official visit to Moscow at the invitation of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexiy II.
During the third day of his visit, on Saturday, the two hierarchs jointly officiated at the historic cathedral at the Kremlin, while on Sunday Archbishop Demetrios was due to meet with the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Kyrillos, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate's International Relations Department.
The two held the religious service in memory of the Ss Cyril and Methodios, brothers and monks from Byzantine-era Thessaloniki, who preached Orthodoxy to the Slavic nations and the Cyrillic alphabet. Their feast day in Russia is celebrated as the Day of Slavic Letters.
Despite the pouring rain, hundreds of faithful followed the litany from the Kremlin to the monument of the Thessaloniki monks in Slavianskaya Square, where a memorial service was held with the participation of representatives of several predominately Orthodox countries.
Caption: Orthodox priests hold a ceremony commemorating a holiday for Ss. Cyril and Methodius (Day of Slavic Culture) in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on 24 May 2008. Ss Cyril and Methodius are the creators of the Cyrilic alphabet. ANA-MPA/ EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY