Moscow, November 6, 2019
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine celebrated turned 75 yesterday. This summer, he also celebrated his 5th anniversary as the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Met. Onuphry is recognized throughout the entire Orthodox Church as wise and humble man of prayer, and he is greatly loved by his flock, young and old. Numerous hierarchs from other Local Churches have called on the Ukrainian faithful to cling to their beloved primate in this time of persecution, and he offers them an example of stability and steadfastness in the Orthodox confession of faith.
On the occasion of his birthday, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia awarded Met. Onuphry the Order of the Holy Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, 1st Degree, for his many years of faithful service to Christ and His Church.
The order is given to primates and hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches and hierarchs and clerics of the Russian Church for many years of ordained ministry or for service to the Russian Church. It can also be awarded to Church and public figures for works done for the good of Orthodoxy.
Pat. Kirill’s greeting to Met. Onuphry reads:
To His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine,
Your Beatitude, dear in the Lord Vladyka!
I heartily congratulate you with this significant date—the 75th anniversary of your birth.
The Lord has destined you to traverse a long path, the majority of which you have devoted to the zealous service of God and His Church. Taking monastic vows in the Monastery of St. Sergius of Radonezh, you strive in all circumstances of life and labors to remain faithful to the choice once made.
By the providence of the Almighty, manifested in the conciliar decision of the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, you were vouchsafed to lift up upon your shoulders the cross of the primatial ministry. In difficult years of trials, the Ukrainian people have found in you a caring father, a spiritually experienced archpastor, a courageous defender of the sacred canons, and a fervent intercessor before God. By wise words and good deeds, you guide your flock on the path of salvation, taking care that they be filled with spiritual understanding, bearing fruit in every good deed and growing in knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10).
In view of your diligent labors and in connection with jubilee being celebrated, I consider it just to honor you with the Order of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir, 1st Degree.
Always remembering your in my prayers, I wish Your Beatitude good health, peace of mind, and strengthening from the Lord in your further primatial ministry for the benefit of the Holy Church and for the salvation of the Ukrainian flock entrusted to you.
With love in Jesus Christ
+ KIRILL, PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA