In a recent letter, His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksy of Moscow and All Russia, invited His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, to take part in celebrations marking the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ slated to take place in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 28, 2008.
“We cordially greet you and wish you good health and God’s help in your primatial ministry,” Patriarch Aleksy wrote. “We would be glad to see representatives of Your Beatitude among the guests at the solemnities. Herewith we ask you to send a delegation of your Most Holy Church to take part in the celebrations.”
Metropolitan Herman also received a letter of invitation to the celebration from Ukrainian President Victor Yuschenko. In his letter, President Yuschenko said that “the great epoch of the growth of Christianity throughout the lands of Holy Rus’ had its beginning in the holy city of Kyiv.” The Ukrainian President referred to the anniversary as a “celebration of Orthodoxy.”
On June 28, 2008, anniversary celebrations opened with services in the Moscow Kremlin’s Dormition Cathedral.
The day of the celebration in Ukraine, July 28, coincides with the Julian Calendar feast day of Saint Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles.