A small consecration of St. Catherine the Martyr, a Russian Orthodox Church, took place on 19 May 2006 in Rome, Italy. The consecration liturgy was celebrated by the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Kirill, president of the department for external relations of the Moscow Patriarchy.
The small consecration is a sign of the Church's start-up, which is to become an important centre of the Russian Orthodox culture in Rome and a place of union for compatriots living in Italy and in Europe at large.
Raising this Orthodox Church in close vicinity of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome was made possible mainly owing to donations made by a variety of Russian organisations, including Vneshtorgbank, several Italian companies and private individuals.
Vneshtorgbank was one of the first to support the idea to built an Orthodox Church in Rome, thus substantially contributing to its coming true.
According to Vneshtorgbank's Chairman and CEO Andrey Kostin who is a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Catherine the Martyr Foundation, the support by Vneshtorgbank to the Church construction was given within the framework of the Bank's general sponsorship and philanthropy policy focusing, among other things, on preservation and multiplication of Russian cultural and spiritual values.