Some of you might wonder why I am so preoccupied with Russia. It is simply that this is a kind of a gift that keeps giving. This time the gift is of a theological/spiritual sort, and who could withstand such an outpour of loving?
The organization "National Committee +60", created in 2012 in connection with the 60th anniversary of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, asked Patriarch Kirill to approve the text of the prayer to Putin. The prayer is written as a poem* and reads as follows:
The only remark I have to the above is that, while only five years ago Russian children were encouraged to pray for Putin, today Russians are encouraged to pray to Putin.To you, Blessed Vladimir, dare I to raise my voice,This prayer is a slightly altered version of the poem "Star that presents the Sun" by Nikolai Gogol. In the original, this "prayer" is addressed to the Virgin Mary.
Cleanse me from all defilement, hear me in this sad hour.
Accept my warm prayers and deliver my spirit from evil and misery.
Pour tenderness into my heart, guide me on the way of salvation.
I will not be a stranger to your will, I will be ready to endure all for God;
Be my support in my bitter lot, do not let me die in sorrow.
After all, you are the protector of the wretched, a kind prayer for us!
Oh, help me when I hear the terrible call to God's judgment,
When the eternity stops the time, when the sound of the trumpet resurrects the dead,
And the book of conscience exposes the burden of my sins.
You are the reward for Holy Russia! To you I pray with all my heart.
Our Apostle of Petrov's burg, have mercy for me!
"The National Committee +60" is demanding that Putin be canonized. Activists argue that Orthodox Russians are constantly turning to them with a request to promote the canonization of the president. The Committee believes that Putin has "brilliantly restored the sacred fatherland of Korsun [oldish Russian name for Crimea]" and "heroically defends the Orthodox people in Ukraine and Syria [sic!]."
"Recent data from the Russian opinion polling center clearly indicates that for 90 percent of the population, Russian President is the support and the hope in this life, and almost 100 percent of the Orthodox folk pray daily for his health and want to see him as the lifelong leader of the great Russia! It is no secret that he receives from God his titanic powers for the good of the motherland," the activists said.
(*) The poem rhymes, unfortunately it is beyond my ability to translate it adequately.