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Pilgrimage department of the Lavra

By God’s providence the 90-ies of the XXth century for the Kiev-Pechersk monastery was a time of renewal not only of the spiritual life of the brethren, but also a period of renovation and restoration of the architectural ensemble of the Lavra, as well as the beginning of the organization of some necessary services.

The spiritual thirst of the Orthodox people for the history of the ancient monastery and its Pechersk wonderworkers, imperishably resting with their relics on the place of their spiritual achievement, always took place in the life of each generation. But it was especially manifested during the resumption of the liturgical life of the monastery. Based on the need of the spiritual enlightenment of the people and the satisfaction of the curiosity of pilgrims and tourists about the life of the Pechersky saints and the history of the Lavra, at the request of the viceroy of the cloister, the archimandrite (now Metropolitan) Paul, with the blessing of the Primate of the UOC, the Sacred Archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr, in 1996 it was created the Department of External Relations of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

The Department of External Relations was a good start for the enlightenment of pilgrims and other people who wanted to know and hear the word about the great spiritual power of this ancient monastery. The brethren of the monastery worked hard for the foundation of the Department, especially the rural dean of the monastery, the archimandrite (now archbishop) Ephraim, as well as employees, among whom should be noted Krivenko (Lazarenko) T.A.

Already since 1998, the staff of the Department, in addition to excursions to the Lavra, began to organize pilgrimage trips to the Holy Land and the holy mountain of Sinai. Since 2000, trips to the shrines of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have been held. It should be noted that by 2008, thousands of pilgrims had the opportunity to touch the greatest shrines of Christianity.

In 2002, the Department of External Relations changed its name to the more applicable name to its activities – the Pilgrimage Department of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

In 2003, it were held the first pilgrimage trips to the Holy Shrines of Orthodox Greece, to the Coptic monasteries of the reverend Anthony the Great and Paul of Thebes, the Greek monastery of St. great martyr George in Cairo and other Christian shrines of Egypt.

In 2005 there was an expansion of the range of pilgrimage trips. Pilgrims visit Istanbul (Constantinople) and the Princes Islands, shrines of Georgia, holy places and monasteries of Romania. Since the same year, pilgrimage staff regularly conduct pilgrimage trips to temples and hermitage monasteries in Kiev.

On May 17th, 2005, with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr, the First All-Ukrainian Conference “Orthodox Pilgrimage in Ukraine: Problems and Perspectives” was conducted by the efforts of the Lavra Brotherhood and the employees of the Pilgrimage Department. The conference was attended by representatives of more than 20 pilgrimage centers and services of Ukraine and Russia. The honorable guests of the Conference were the director of the Pilgrimage Center of the Moscow Patriarchate, S. Yu. Zhitenev, and the employee of the Center Brandt I.V.

On the 18-19th of May, the employees of the Pilgrimage Department hold their first seminar on the topic: “Pilgrimage trips around Kiev and Ukraine”.

Both the Conference and the seminar were a vivid expression of the idea of ​​the need to work on the pilgrimage movement, the revival of spiritual traditions of our Orthodox Church and its God-loving people.

In 2006, a pilgrimage group from the Pilgrimage Department of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra visited the shrines and Orthodox monasteries of Serbia and Montenegro for the first time. Pilgrims became participants of the feast on the feast day of the Beheading of St. Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist of the Lord. At the end of the solemn divine service the clergy of the group was kindly received by Metropolitan Cetinsky and Montenegrin Amphilochius.

2007 was the year of the opening of another page of pilgrimage – tours to the shrines of Germany, France and Italy.

For already several years in sequence, pilgrims have the opportunity to visit the great shrine of Christianity – the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Mir Lycia. Several pilgrimage trips a year are regularly held by the pilgrimage department of the monastery.

On the Christmas days of 2007, the Pilgrimage Department of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra celebrated its 10th anniversary. Many of the employees got high church awards.

At present, the staff of the Pilgrimage Department actively participate in many church conferences, seminars and exhibitions. Repeatedly the Pilgrimage Department of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra took part in the International Tourism Exhibitions in Kiev.

Today, the Pilgrimage Department employs more than 30 employees, many of whom have considerable experience working with pilgrims, both in conducting pilgrimage through the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, and far beyond its borders. We are always Christianly glad to see not only pilgrims, but also other interested persons.

Currently, the Pilgrimage Department of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra offers a wide range of services to pilgrims and very often meets halfway about the money issue.

We wish everyone who wishes to become a participant in our pilgrimages, discover a new and useful and useful for the salvation of his soul!
 
The Head of the Pilgrimage Department
of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra
the Archimandrite Pimen

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