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Bishop: the pilgrims won't be able to attend the services on the Valaam

Pilgrims can come to Valaam organized tour groups without overnight stay, they will not be able to attend the services, said in an interview with RIA Novosti, the Abbot of the Valaam Spaso-Preobrazhensky Stavropegial monastery Bishop Trinity Pankraty.

Thursday at the monastery for pilgrims has opened a Central manor house and main temple of the monastery – Holy Transfiguration Cathedral.

"Unfortunately, the pilgrims won't be able to get to worship, confession and communion, and venerate relics and icons," said Bishop Pankraty.

According to him, the monastery can come only organized groups of pilgrims and tourists. "They can now visit the Central manor, where the main monastery Church – Holy Transfiguration Cathedral and the monasteries. Individual pilgrims and tourists with tents the entrance to the island is closed," - said the Abbot.

In the monastery, recalled the Bishop, has renewed its popular tours of the monastic service "Valaam pilgrim." "Our fleet goes from Sortavala and Priozersk. This is faster than cruise: in summer, when the lake go "Meteors", the road from St. Petersburg to Valaam in the Priozersk takes only three hours. But now on sale only day trips because we don't have the opportunity to take pilgrims and tourists in its hotels," said the Bishop.

He also noted that tourists and pilgrims do not have to pass tests for the coronavirus before visiting the monastery.

"They come without spending the night and most of the time on the air. In the temples they will go in disguise, organized groups with a guide. Tour groups are small – no more than 20 people – in accordance with the rules that are adopted in Karelia", - concluded the Bishop.

Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Valaam monastery is located on Valaam, the archipelago of lake Ladoga. According to Church tradition, the founders of the monastery – missionary Sergius and Herman of Valaam appeared here at the end of X century. According to another version the monastery was founded in the XIV century. At different times of the Valaam archipelago is located on the territory of Russia, Sweden and Finland. In 1940, after the Soviet-Finnish war he became Soviet territory and was abandoned. The revival of the monastery began in 1989, when the island was settled six monks.

1993-present Governor (Abbot) of the monastery is Archimandrite Pankraty (Zherdev), Bishop of the Trinity. Now the convent is home to about 200 inhabitants. The monastery complex consists of the main manor house and 12 hermitages. The stavropegic monastery subordinated directly to the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill. Every year the monastery is visited by over 100 thousand pilgrims and tourists.

The full text of the interview is available on the website ria.ru