On Tuesday, June 10, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk began his official visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey in honor of the namesday of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
That evening, in the church of the Life-giving Spring in Balıklı, Great Vespers was served preceding the celebrations in honor of the Patriarch's namesday. The main holy site of the monastery is the healing spring that in the year 450, the Holy Theotokos appeared to the future Emperor of Constantinople, Leo I instructing him to anoint a nearby blind man with the water from the spring. In that instant, the blind man was healed.
At the end of Great Vespers, His Holiness greeted all those assembled for the feastday of Apostle Bartholomew. On the monastery portico, Bishop John greeted Patriarch Bartholomew and delivered namesday congratulations from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia.
Later in the evening, Bishop John attended a reception in the Russian Consulate in Istanbul in honor of Russia Day. Bishop John greeted the Consul General Alexey Erkhov with the holiday.
Accompanying Bishop John on his visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate are members of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Priest Michael Asmus and Deacon Feodor Shul'ga.