MINSK, 7 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko lit a Christmas candle near the Icon of the Mother of God of Minsk at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk to mark Christmas celebrated by Orthodox Christians on 7 January.
The Belarusian head of state met with Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl Pavel, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus. Attending the event were also the laity, representatives of Orthodox brotherhoods and sisterhoods, and Sunday school students.
“I wish this holiday bring you peace, understanding, and wellbeing. I wish the fulfillment of your desires, at least those related to your loved ones, families, and, especially, children. I wish Merry Christmas to Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, our guests, and all Orthodox Christians. Merry Christmas to everyone,” Alexander Lukashenko wished.
The President donated the Icon of Mother of God of “Tender Feeling”, made from the 15th century Icon “Tender Feeling” of Malorita, to the Belarusian Orthodox Church. The icon was made using unique wax tempera techniques.
Metropolitan Pavel presented Alexander Lukashenko with the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, blessed on Mount Athos.
“I wish the Mother of God to defend our people, defend you, the head of this wonderful state, make you stronger, both spiritually and physically. Let the Mother of God guard our Belaya Rus, our good people. Let the new year be blessed, peaceful and successful. Of course, as you always stress, this will largely depend on us. We will pray, work, and the God's blessing will accompany us,” Metropolitan Pavel said.
He presented Belarus President's son Nikolai with the Orthodox Icon of Guardian-Angel.
Metropolitan Pavel also wished Merry Christmas to everyone. “Both the sky and the land rejoice today. Sunny but frosty weather proves it to be a special feast,” he said.