Moscow, July 28, Interfax - No Russian revolution had the impact comparable to that of the tenth-century Christianization of Rus (ancient Russia), the anniversary of which is marked on July 28, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"The Christianization of Russia was no doubt, speaking in modern language, a revolutionary event. Moreover, in terms of its consequences it is incomparable with none of the subsequent revolutions because the Christianization had radically changed the life of people, its culture, its system of values," the patriarch said on Tuesday after performing a prayer service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral to commemorate the Holy Great Prince Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles.
That system of values, primarily the Orthodox faith, came under threat from the most menacing of Russian revolutions in the early 20th century, he said. "But the fact that we, in the 21st century, in this resurrected Cathedral of Christ the Savior, reminisce about those dreamings of the revolutionaries with a kind of condescending smile - because nothing came out of it [the revolution] in the end - shows that that political act, however excellently organized and powerful, and also following by violence, failed to eradicate the Orthodox faith from our people," the patriarch said.
It was as if the Russian people had been "inoculated with the holy body of the ecumenical Church," which gave it the greatest spiritual strength, helping it get through the complex twists and turns of the historical path, he said.
"Everything that has happened to us since Christianization to the present day attests illustratively and very convincingly in favor of the argument that human history is not done by a human alone, by his mind, will and strength alone, but also by the grace of God, being present in the human history through people's prayers, and, without changing the human freedom itself, thus influences the human race, that despite the fierce fight against the faith, the faith is alive and active."
The Christianization of ancient Russia was an event which has not lost its meaning and force to this day and "we are all heirs to Prince Vladimir," the Russian patriarch said.