His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrates his 77th birthday on November 20.
His Holiness Vladyka (in the world Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyaev) was born on November 20, 1946 in the city of Leningrad.
After graduating from high school in 1965, he entered the Leningrad Theological Seminary, and then the Leningrad Theological Academy, from which he graduated with honors in 1970 with the degree of Candidate of theology.
On April 3, 1969, Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad and Novgorod was tonsured a monk with the naming of Kirill. On April 7, he was ordained a hierodeacon by him, and on June 1 of the same year — a hieromonk.
On September 12, 1971, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite.
On March 14, 1976, he was consecrated Bishop of Vyborg. On September 2, 1977, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.
Since December 26, 1984 — Archbishop of Smolensk and Vyazma.
Since 1986, he has been managing parishes in the Kaliningrad region.
Since 1988 — Archbishop of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.
From November 13, 1989 to 2009 — Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, permanent member of the Holy Synod.
On February 25, 1991, he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.
Since December 6, 2008 — Locum tenens of the Patriarchal Throne.
On January 27, 2009, he was elected Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia by the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On February 1, 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill was enthroned.
As the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill officially visited 12 Local Orthodox Churches, as well as Autonomous Orthodox Churches in China and Japan. He held a number of meetings with the heads and representatives of non-Orthodox Churches and Christian organizations. He is the author of many books, as well as more than two thousand publications, including in domestic and foreign periodicals.
Russian Russian Orthodox Church central office was reorganized during Patriarch Kirill's ministry, powers were redistributed between synodal institutions and new synodal departments were established, the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church (2009), church executive authorities and church-wide collegiate bodies were formed. An important change in the sphere of church administration was the formation of new dioceses and the creation of metropolitans.
Over the past 14 years, many cooperation agreements have been signed between the Russian Orthodox Church and the executive bodies of state power in the sphere of interaction with state authorities. There is a dialogue on interethnic and interreligious relations, countering extremism, morality in the media, protection of family and personality in the context of juvenile justice issues, electronic control.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has church-wide awards, orders of Self-Governing and Autonomous Churches of the Russian Orthodox Church, awards of Local Orthodox Churches and other religious organizations and Christian denominations, state awards of the Russian Federation and other countries.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has more than 120 awards from Russian and foreign public organizations; he is an honorary citizen of the cities of Smolensk, Kaliningrad, Neman (Kaliningrad region), Murom (Vladimir Region), Smolensk, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo regions, the Republic of Mordovia and other regions and settlements of the Russian Federation.
Patriarch Kirill holds a PhD in theology from the Leningrad Theological Academy and more than 30 honorary titles. In particular, he is a full member of the Academy of Russian Literature, an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, an honorary professor of the Military Academy of Strategic Missile Forces named after Peter the Great.