Moscow, April 17, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulated Russian member of the International Space Station Oleg Novitsky on Easter.
They communicated in a format of TV bridge organized in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
"I remember how we talked to you and your two counterparts on Christmas, they have already landed. Now you carry your space watch alone for whole Russia. I would like to heartily congratulate you, to wish you God's help in your work, good health, strength, inner peace, so that your stay on orbit would be quiet, successful and your return would be happy," the patriarch said.
Novitsky thanked the patriarch for good words and said it was very pleasant "to feel such a great spiritual and earthily support."
"It is always a great joy for me to communicate with cosmonauts as I try to understand what a burden you carry on your shoulders," the patriarch said and asked Novitsky to convey his greetings to foreign counterparts as all confessions celebrate Easter on the same day this year.
The Russian Church has cooperated with cosmonauts for several years. The patriarchal representation church works at the Cosmonauts Training Center in Zvezdny Gorodok, the Moscow Region. Its rector Hegumen Job (Talats) has blessed all space crews from 2006, and before the flight the cosmonauts visit the Holy Trinity - St. Sergius Laura.