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On 19 March 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, visited the stavropegic Church of St. Catherine in Rome. He was accompanied by members of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church who attended the enthronement of Pope Francis of Rome: Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol, chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and rector of the Kiev Theological schools, Metropolitan Platon of Feodosia and Kerch, and hieromonk Anthoniy (Sevryuk).

The archpastors read the Great Penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. Taking part in the service was Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Serbian Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a sermon, in which he reminded the worshippers of the importance of listening attentively to the Lenten penitential hymns, reading Holy Scriptures and exhortations of the Holy Fathers in order to learn how to make changes in our life, thus taking a step on our way to the Kingdom of Heaven.  He concluded his sermon by saying, “Let us beseech the Lord to open our spiritual sight so that we can see our sins as illness, so that He as a true Healer of the souls and bodies heal our spiritual and physical infirmity and give us strength to fulfill our obediences.”