The new Patriarch was born on November 20, 1946, in Leningrad [present-day St. Petersburg], where his father served as a priest. He graduated from secondary school in 1964 and from the Leningrad Theological Seminary and Academy in 1970.
In April 1969, he was tonsured a monk and ordained a hierodeacon, In June of that same year, he was ordained a hieromonk.
In March of 1976 he was consecrated Bishop of Vyborg and Auxiliary Bishop of the Leningrad Diocese and in 1984 he was elected Bishop of Smolensk. In 1991 he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.
Since 1970, Patriarch-elect Kirill is participating in numerous administrative roles within the Russian Orthodox Church, including rector of the Leningrad Theological Seminary and Academy from 1974 to 1984. In particular, he has been a leading figure in the Church's ecumenical activity. In 1989, he was appointed Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations and became a member of the Russian Church's Holy Permanent Synod.
On December 6, 2008, after the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksy II, Metropolitan Kirill was elected Patriarchal Locum tenens of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The enthronement of Patriarch-elect Kirill took place on Sunday, February 1, 2009 at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. They were present Primates of several Orthodox Churches (Alexandria, Albania, Poland, Czech Lands and Slovakia) and representatives of all the remaining local Orthodox Churches, as well as the Highest Entities of the Russian State and other States, and representatives of other religious confessions.
We pray Our Lord and God to grant His Holiness Patriarch Kirill many years of fruitful service in his patriarchal ministry. Axios! Axios! Axios!*
Nota: “Axios” is a Greek word. Participants in the clergy ordinations and Episcopal consecrations sing loudly this word, whose meaning is “He is é worthy”.