In the evening of 26 September 2018, in the framework of the Patriarchal visit to the Kuban Archdiocese, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill arrived from Yeysk to Krasnodar, where he attended Kuban state University (KubSU).
In the University there arrived the Governor of the Krasnodar territory V. I. Kondratiev, Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Varsonofy, Metropolitan of Ekaterinodar and Kuban Isidor, head of the Administrative Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop Sergius of Solnechnogorsk, vicar of the Yekaterinodar diocese Bishop Dionysius of Tuapse.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was met by the rector of the M. B. Astapov, members of the faculty, students of the University.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill performed the rite of consecration of the laying of the Foundation stone of the temple in honor of saints Cyril and Methodius, according to patriarhiei. The construction of the Church on the territory of educational institutions was developed on the initiative of the staff and students of the University.
After the service, Metropolitan Isidor of Ekaterinodar greeted his Holiness and presented His Holiness with the Patriarchal cowl.
Then greeted the Primate of the Russian Church addressed the rector of the Kuban state University Mikhail B. Astapov. He announced the decision of the Academic Council of the University from 30 August on awarding his Holiness Patriarch Kirill the title of honorary Professor of Kuban state University and was presented with the diploma and mantle of the Professor of the Kuban state University. The honorary title was awarded to His Holiness in consideration of the merits in the development of theological education in Russia.
The Primate of the Russian Church addressed the worshippers with his primatial word:
“Dear participants of the great historical events — the laying of the temple in honor of saints Cyril and Methodius at the Krasnodar state University!
Saints Cyril and Methodius — the men a very special destiny. First of all, it was the enlightened people. Cyril (most of my life bore the name of Constantine) was one of the most educated people of Byzantium. Fluent in many languages, knowing the philosophy, theology and other Sciences, which then was very much appreciated, he chooses the path of service to the Church, and the Patriarch Photios sends him here, on the Northern shore of the Black sea to the black sea steppes and the Crimea to preach the word of Christ.
Cyril appealed to the people living in these places, and his word was very convincing. He won the debates, his encyclopedic knowledge, he amazed even highly educated people. Cyril and Methodius subsequently traveled extensively in Eastern Europe, but the first missionary journey became a journey in our land, on the North coast of the Black sea and the Crimea.
Saints Cyril and Methodius laid the basis of our grammar, created a written language for our ancestors and transferred to him the Scriptures. Just think about it: all of our writing — from the word of God; this is the first book I read by our ancestors. And the historical result of the mission was evident. The preaching of Christ crucified and Risen so deeply understood by our pious ancestors, that our country has gone down in history as Holy Russia. On this spiritual Foundation, develop our culture, our science, our literature, our education.
It is remarkable that in the twenty-first century we are returning to our roots, and here, in the Kuban, the University appears a temple dedicated to two people who laid the foundations of all knowledge in our nation, bringing us the alphabet, grammar, writing, but most importantly, the Word of God.
Training time — difficult time of human life; in a sense, is probably the most difficult because the learner is required great attention, you could say, devotion to learning. And this time usually falls on the youth, which is particularly reflected in the psychology of people, their behavior, their emotions, which sometimes creates the most favorable atmosphere for the understanding of science.
To penetrate the mysteries of science, we need a huge effort of will, strength, intellect, perseverance, in other words, you need a feat. A young man and want to relax, and walk, and to have fun — and not because it’s bad, but because the very nature of the young man is. Therefore, students aimed to the matter of special importance, require special spiritual feat. It should be something to limit yourself to concentrate on what really matters, to devote himself to the study of science is truly a feat.
When we talk about the feat, we mean something intangible. The feat is intangible — it is a spiritual concept, a spiritual phenomenon. And that the person was able to perform the feat, big or small, it needs to be strong in spirit. And the spirit of God, and the spirit was strong in man, we must be able to close our circuit with God, we must feel the presence of God in our lives. And it happens only when we pray and ask with faith to the Lord. Then, in response to our faith and to our prayer God gives us please.
Glad that there will be a temple, and I hope that many students, professors, teachers will gain the experience of prayer, an experience of real contact God, experience real experience of God’s presence in my life. And I am convinced that then you will have a strong spirit, the ability to impose certain self-restraint associated with the need to successfully learn. I am convinced that all your life will be successful, peaceful and prosperous.
Here to make all this happen, and we are laying here today temple. And I believe that because of him each of you in my life ever feel the presence of God and, inspired by this feeling, and will successfully address the challenges that arise throughout life.”
His Holiness thanked the rector, the Academic Council members and faculty “for awarding the title of honorary Professor, but most importantly — for the decision which you accepted, based including, I think, to support the students, that in this place was erected a temple in honor of saints Cyril and Methodius”. “Their prayers God bless Kuban state University”, — said his Holiness, passing the gift of the University community under construction temple mother of God, and for the University library collection of his works.
Then his Holiness visited the exhibition, which presented works of students of the Studio of iconography of art-graphic faculty KubSU. Students and teachers workshop today, perform iconographic work not only for the churches of the Kuban, but also for churches, which are far beyond its borders. Among the most important of these works — the iconostasis of the Church of the Nativity (Krasnodar), the wall paintings the Church of St. George (Krasnodar Krai, a Khutor Lenina), paintings, Greek Orthodox monastery “life-giving spring” in California (USA).
The rector of the University presented His Holiness with an icon of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky, performed by graduate art-graphic faculty.
In commemoration of the sanctification of the Foundation stone, his Holiness planted a tree on campus.