Of HIS EMINENCE VALENTIN,
METROPOLITAN OF SUZDAL AND VLADIMIR,
FIRST HIERARCH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AUTONOMOUS CHURCH
CHRIST IS RISEN!
The greatest of all the sacraments is completed: the Resurrection of Christ—the victory of the Life Giver over the death. There came the most wonderful day of life of the faithful, the one for which we have waited so long and for which we were preparing ourselves during the long 40 days.
We are ready to repeat tirelessly the wonderful words: “Christ is risen! Verily, He is risen!” How joyfully does the heart beat! And how is one urged to cry out with full power: “Lord, I thank Thee for letting me once again to live through such moments!
The light of the teachings of the God Man Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Men becomes a clear way for an Orthodox Christian. The warmth of the faith constantly urges us to serve our neighbor. Peacefulness renews the essence and brings forth deep blissfulness. We do confess that by His terrible suffering and His glorious resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ granted us rebirth, that He established the Church, which directs us, mortals, to the path of goodness and love, so that we would be worthy heirs of God’s Kingdom.
God gave us power to grow and perfect ourselves, to reach to great wisdom. We sincerely believe that the human mind will be enlightened by the knowledge of the Truth, in manner similar to beauty, which like the sun’s light is pouring over the whole world.
The resurrected Christ makes joy brighter and wider and without Him the fullness of happiness is unthinkable and with Him even misfortune is comforting. He is our never-setting Sun, the source of our resurrection into everlasting life. With His love He attracts to Himself human souls, which like tiny sparkles, lit by the incomprehensibly great wisdom of the Creator, unite with Him forever.
Glory to the resurrected Christ for the growth of our flock, for the sounds of bell-ringing in the churches of the Russian Orthodox Church not only in the Homeland, but also far outside her borders!
We are especially joyful that the people faithful and loyal to the ideals of God’s Church return to the Russian Orthodox Church, and remain faithful to Orthodox teachings.
To our deep regret, some arch-pastors, pastors and faithful of the Russian Church Abroad have stepped away from the path of true confession and directed their steps toward the path of ruin, the one which the ecumenists go.
It is sad to see a separation where there should have been unity. It is deplorable to realize that the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which was once a bearer of undamaged Orthodoxy, has today diverted from the path of truth and directed her steps to the path of perdition.
We are extremely grateful to the resurrected Christ for making us worthy on the last jubilee year to glorify the blessed first Abbess, the Nun Alexandra (Melgunov) and other blessed residents of the Diveyevo convent.
By the mercy of God, and considering the uncompromising service the God’s Church during all his lifetime and also the incorrupt venerable relics of Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky), the champion and confessor of Orthodoxy, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved to glorify him on May 8/1. May the Lord help us through the intercessions of this blessed God pleasing zealot for the salvation of Russian people in the Fatherland as well as abroad.
May the day of this bright and all joyful holy day of Christ’s Resurrection bring us nearer to the One Who suffered for our sins and by His death destroyed everlasting death for the sake of us fallen.
Grant us O Lord, to worship Thee, to venerate Thee, to see Thee with our inner eyes, to feel the penetration of Thy light into our soul from which trembles all that exists.
From all my heart I congratulate you on occasion of bright holy day of Christ’s Resurrection! Prayerfully I wish you to have from the resurrected Christ, the Savior, peace, joy and to preserve steadfastness in the Orthodox faith and teachings.
With the prayer to Him resurrected from death, Christ, bending my knees and heart I pray, “that all of us be one in Christ Jesus, our Lord”! Again I greet you on the occasion of the bright and joyful day of our salvation -the Resurrection of Christ.
Asking for your holy prayers,
President of the Synod of Bishops