MINSK, 16 April (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko lit a candle in the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior in Shklov on Easter, on 16 April, BelTA has learned.
“Today is a special day for me. Either returning from a long business trip or coming here, I always look at this land with great love,” the president said, speaking of his small motherland. “You are special people to me, you know that. This all began with you, your parents. First of all, for me. Once, you put your trust in me, a very young man, and sent me off on a long journey,” he said.
“I want to tell young people (I didn't realize it at the time) that you become very homesick with time. Sooner or later, we all come home. I am always excited to visit this place. As you noticed, I rarely stayed in Shklov. Maybe it was because of these strong feelings that were affecting me. But there comes a time when you are especially drawn home, your hometown. They say if you often dream about something, you have to go there. This is why I have come to you, my dear good people,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked his fellow countrymen for the trust they put in him many years ago, for the things they did for him in his life. “I will not say it was dolce vita. But we have what we have,” he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Easter is a holy and kind holiday, filled with special expectations, just like the New Year. “All our holidays, both religious and secular, are very precious to us, our people. Well, who can say that Victory Day is not a dear holiday for us?” the Belarusian leader noted.
As for Easter, on this day the head of state said he just wants a peaceful life, to say nothing and listen to silence. “I feel this way. I guess, so do many people. Although after a long fast, people get ready to have a feast with wine, Easter cakes and other numerous treats. We all have them. But still it is a very special day for everyone!” he said.
“Here, in this old temple, I want to congratulate our Belarusians, everyone who see us today. Once again, I would like to thank you and congratulate you on this holiday. I wish you peace and health. These are the most important things,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko presented the Lord Almighty Icon to the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior. This icon is one of the most ancient and revered images of the Savior. “It is precious for me because it was made by the hands of a Belarusian,” the head of state said.
The president got the Resurrection of Christ Icon as a present from the church. It is made in the technique of miniature enamel painting.
The construction of the Transfiguration Church in Shklov began at the end of the 18th century by Semyon Zorich, a favorite of Russian Empress Catherine II, and was completed in the second half of the 19th century thanks to the financial assistances of local resident, devout Christian Agafia Sidorova, who is considered the founder of this church. The temple remained active during the years of atheism and the Great Patriotic War. 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the temple.