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Orthodox Patriarch Calls for National Unity Day in Russia

November 4 1612, which ended “troubled times” in Russia, deserves to be celebrated as the Day of National Unity said the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia yesterday
( [email protected] ) Nov 05, 2004 03:40 PM EST

November 4 1612, which ended “troubled times” in Russia, deserves to be celebrated as the Day of National Unity said the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia yesterday.

Alexy II, who conducted a service in honor of the Mother of God of Kazan icon at the Kazan Cathedral in the Red Square of Moscow, reminded that the Icon had helped the Russian troops when the people were rallied to defend Russia, “putting an end to the ‘troubled times’ and restoring the Russian State.”

According to Itar-Tass News, the Patriarch stressed that November 4 could be regarded as the day of the unity of the Russian nation, because the unity “was not initiated by the authorities, but came as a result of people’s love for their Fatherland.”

“The day of November 4 reminds us that no unrest could divide the nation either by the ethnic principle, or by the religious principle,” Alexy II said.

The Patriarch reminded that the State Duma (Russian National Parliament) was now considering a possibility of proclaiming November 4 to be a national holiday. “I think we should find the events in our history, which would unite the nation,” he said.

Among such events, Alexy II mentioned the Kulikovo battle, whose 625th anniversary will be observed in 2005.