Video of a prayer service conducted by Kiril, the head of the Russian church, blessing the new term of Vladimir Putin.
It was televised live on national TV, and treated as a major news event.
The service took place in the 15th-century Annunciation Cathedral within the walls of the Kremlin. It used to be the private church of the Russian Tsars.
After the prayer, the patriarch addressed the head of state on behalf of all clergy and believers, saying that all of these people supported Putin because they see him as:
“a leader who, apart from successfully managing the country, is also a person devoted to his motherland.”
Full transcript below:
(This is a very rough and hurried translation, but it should serve to give the western reader a sense of what was said):
"We all pray for the president of our country Russia Vladimir so he would gain wisdom and justice, the good and justice rule of our country, peace and stability... we pray, oh Lord, hear our prayers and have mercy on us.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from death, Virgin Mary prayers and apostolic ones,the St. Vladimir the Great prayers,St. Prince Alexander Nevsky, St. Joachim and Anna, and all saints have mercy and save us since you are merciful and you love us humans
Dear president, after people have elected you to become president of the Russian federation this day when you adopt your duties, I want to wholeheartedly congratulate you from Russian Orthodox Church, from our episcops, monks and huge number of believers, who support you and see you as their leader, not only as successful head of the state, but also a man who is dedicated to the fatherland, the man for whom the spiritual tradition is his own tradition, for whom both material and spiritual wellbeing is one of his responsibilities as a president.
Today you said a lot of good things in your presidential address. I only want to wish you with all my heart to have energy, health, spiritual strength to fulfill your presidential duties.
You talked about necessity at this moment, for the quality of our people - justice loving and good. Of course, your work as a head of the state is solving the challenges that are people's ones material tasks, but they can not be solved in good manner if our people are weak.
Therefore, the spiritual strength of Russian man and his faith in the principles you were talking today, is a strong foundation of success and it's the main reason why Russia is invincible.
Hopefully, God will help that all these spiritual qualities will get stronger and raise, especially, our prayer for youth, who don't know for a difficult times, the Soviet time and the 90s, that can not be compared to any other time and those people who didn't go through hardships. God help so that our youth gain spiritual growth and strengthen brotherhood and unity of our people and stay faithfull to the fatherland for many generations ahead.
All the thoughts that you expressed today so they are kept in our people minds and fullfil in the generations to come.Blessing for your efforts from the Church Synod and from His icon Christ Saviour from the XVII century that is expressing our spiritual and cultural traditions of our people so you can pray and remember this day, and all the word you said and all good thoughts present in you, and whom you will feel during your presidential term.
Let the Lord guard you, your family and close ones your friends and all people who are around you, good health, spiritual and body strength, for many years to come!"