Moscow, November 5, 2016
Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia opened a monument to the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, the Baptizer of Russia, on Borovitskaya Square, reports the president’s website.
The monument was erected by the initiative of the Russian Military-Historical Society and the Moscow government. The author of the project was the People’s Artist of Russia sculptor Salavat Scherbakov.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, members of government, deputies, representatives of public organizations, and figures of science, culture and art were all present at the unveiling ceremony.
Patriarch Kirill emphasized in his word to those gathered. “The modern cult, which has many followers who themselves don’t even realize, is relative truth; it’s the quasi-religion of modernity: everything has the right to exist, because, in fact, inviolable and eternal truth does not exist,” he noted.
“If Vladimir thought the same way as some of our contemporaries,” said the patriarch, “he would never have made the choice he did. He would have remained as a pagan, or became himself a Christian, on a personal level, but without baptizing Russia. There would have been neither Rus’, nor Russia, nor the Russian Orthodox world, nor the great Russian Empire, nor modern Russia.
But he didn’t seek luxurious worship or the mental comfort that religion often gives. He sought Truth, with a capital letter, and found and loved the image of Christ and in holy Baptism came to know Him as Light, Truth, and Life.”
“This is a great, significant event for Mosow, and for our whole country, and for all of our Russian compatriots. It is symbolic that this is happening on the Day of People’s Unity and namely here, in the center of the capital, by the walls of the old Kremlin, in the very heart of Russia,” Vladimir Putin emphasized in his speech.
“This new monument,” the president noted, “is a tribute of respect to our distinguished ancestor, an especially revered saint, statesman and warrior, and spiritual founder of the Russian state.”
“Prince Vladimir has forever entered into history as a gatherer and protector of the Russian lands, as a visionary politician, having created the foundation for a strong, united, centralized state, thus incorporating various peoples, tongues, cultures, and religions into one great family.
Precisely this sturdy moral support, cohesion, and unity helped our ancestors overcome difficulties, and live and triumph for the glory of the Fatherland, strengthening from generation to generation its power and greatness.
And today our duty is to stand together against modern challenges and threats, leaning on our spiritual precepts, on the priceless tradition of unity and harmony, to move forward, ensuring the continuity of our thousand-year history,” emphasized Vladimir Putin.
Following the opening ceremony Patriarch Kirill blessed the monument. Earlier that day the president and patriarch laid flowers at the monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky on Red Square.
Representatives of the various churches and confessions represented in Russia, as well as youth movement activists and representatives of public national-cultural organizations were present at the flower-laying ceremony.