Congratulations to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexii II 2004-02-22 19:08:17 President Vladimir Putin: The anniversary and name day of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexii II is a significant and important date for us. The Patriarch was named in honour of the prelate Metropolitan Alexii, one of our most honoured saints. And like the prelate in his time, Alexii II has done a lot for Russia’s renaissance. The years that Alexii II has been Patriarch have coincided with events that have had a decisive impact on this country. Alexii II became head of the Russian Orthodox Church at a turning point in Russia’s history, a time of painful search for new moral guidelines. That society and the church managed to avoid division and preserve their unity during this time is the Patriarch’s great personal service. As a man of great culture, the Patriarch is open to discussion with people of different faiths and convictions, and this is a quality that has won him respect not only here in our country but around the world. I would like to say once again that Alexii II’s message to people teaches mutual respect, tolerance and mercy and helps people find a solid spiritual foundation in their lives. From all my heart I wish his Holiness good health and many more years of actively serving the church and the people of Russia.