It is a great day today. It reminds us all of the mystery of our own Baptism, calling on each of us to accept this sacrament not as a custom (or a “rite”, as some ignorant people say) but as the great mystery of our salvation and to put on Christ with Baptism.
In this whole story related to the problem of recognition or non-recognition of Ukrainian schismatics by the Local Orthodox Churches, there is something that is not declared, but which is the main goal of the forces behind the scenes that unleashed this schismatic activity.
The walls of a building may be imperfect, but if the foundation is laid correctly, it will withstand even an earthquake. It is the same in our lives: While laying the right foundation, we don’t always build the house correctly, sometimes yielding to various types of temptations and allurements. But if the foundation is laid correctly, then in the end, everything will fall into place.
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk realized these commandments. From his inner experience he both preached and wrote his books, which still amaze readers with their deepest spirituality, their power, and their appeal. It’s not for nothing that these commandments are called the Beatitudes—commandments of human happiness—because by the will of God, man is built so that he can be happy only by living according to these commandments.
Why do we refer to the Baptism of Rus’ as a turning point for the history of our peoples? Because it forever changed the face of the of the entirety of Slavic civilization and predetermined the subsequent path of its development.
When Christian martyrs—not only those of the first centuries but also of recent times, like those who languished in the Solovki prison camp—died for the faith, and this was not extremism, it was podvig. Not for themselves but for Christ did they die.
The Cross procession is also a podvig. But contemporary man is educated as if no podvigs are necessary, that we need to live richly, to have and spend a lot of money, and enjoy life. In this false system of false values there is no place for podvig, and those who think this way not only never walk the Velikoretsk procession—they find it hard to even leave their homes.
Оn the night imbued with the Divine light, replete with great solemnity and spiritual joy in the Lord of the world who has vanquished death, I address you all with the ancient exclamation that testifies steadfastly to our immutable hope: CHRIST IS RISEN!
Holiness is the realization of God’s law in our lives. It’s not a failure to overcome unrighteousness, human evil, and aggression; it is not a synonym for weakness. It is an expression of great inner spiritual strength, which helps to achieve success in earthly life, because before a saint not only do people’s hearts open, but also many doors—that to evil people are closed.
This is why repentance is at the center of our Great Lenten endeavors. To help man repent before God, the Church introduces him to the special, grace-filled power of the Lenten services and prayers, and of the frequent communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. The time of Lent is the time of purifying the soul; it is the time when we prepare ourselves for receiving the Kingdom of God.
Cities in Russia were named in honor of St. Catherine, not the Tsarina, that the lives of their people would pass under her prayerful protection, that they would have a guideline, an ideal, an example, according to which simple, and rich, and poor, and noble, and common people could acquire the greatest strength of spirit, capable of making of an ordinary man a genius of spirit, a hero, and holy person.
It is my profound conviction that the Churches, both those who have decided to go to Crete and those who have refrained from it, made their decisions in good conscience, and for this reason we must respect the position of each of them.
"I remember well my first visit, my first pilgrimage to Athos in 1971. Seven monks were here at the time. When we went to the church there was no electricity, it was dark and we had a feeling that no one was around. It was only when I reached the entrance to the church and saw icon-lamps burning and several hunch-backed Russian monks that I realized that our people were here and our Church was present here, and that the number of people was not the main thing. My heart was filled with joy, for in this little flock I saw the glorious future of our abode."
By committing inhumane acts, terrorists try to impose an ideology of violence on the whole world. However, civilized society stands united today in the face of terrorism and resolutely speaks out against hatred and division.
"Today with hope we listen to the words of the greeting of the angels: Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord (Lk. 2:10-11)."
"I pray to the All-Merciful Lord for the repose of the dead. May the Lord grant spiritual courage and staunchness to all the relatives and friends of the victims in the trial that has befallen you, and to the wounded I wish fortitude and early recovery."
On October 24, 2015, on the feast day of the Synaxis of Optina Elders, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in the St. Ambrose Stavropegal Convent, Shamordino. At the Liturgy, His Holiness presided over the consecration of Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) as bishop of Egorevsk, Vicariate of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a message to archpastors, pastors, deacons, monks and nuns, and all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church on the occasion of the millennium of the demise of the Holy Prince Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostle
On September 27, 2014, on the feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow & All Russia, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Moscow’s Church of the Holy Hieromartyr Clement, Pope of Rome. Upon completion of the service, the Primate of the Russian Church addressed the faithful with a sermon.
The results of this bloody conflict are horrifying. Not just a hundred, as in Kiev last winter, but many hundreds of the dead, with thousands injured and left homeless. Only the devil could celebrate such a victory, when brothers attack each other, destroying each other, inflicting mutual injury, and weakening the life forces of a nation.
The Church must conduct pastoral work for the care of souls, pray, and make peace between people; but under no circumstances must it serve one or another political view, position, or concept.” This allows the Church to remain outside of a conflict, and carry on its work of bringing peace between the conflicting sides.
It is with anxiety, pain and alarm that I continue to follow ongoing events in Kiev and other cities of Ukraine. Kiev is the birthplace of a great Orthodox civilization which united the peoples of Holy Rus. Kiev is the city of the One Font of the Baptism, the 1025th anniversary of which we only recently celebrated together with all the Local Orthodox Churches.
Before us is an unknown future. Scientists try to ignore the development of events, futurologists describe a distant future, but no one really knows what it will be like, because our Lord is the Lord of history. This historical process is in His hands, and each one of us is a participant.
What does it mean to live in the Spirit? In what Spirit? Of course, as he was addressing a Christian community he meant the spirit of Christ, the spirit of the Gospel. If you live according to this spirit, if you call yourself a Christian, then you should also walk in it, behave according to the spirit. Then the apostle talks about what it means to walk in the spirit, and recounts the virtues that are connected with a life corresponding to the Christian spirit.
The Apostle says, But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ… Then he pronounces these words of great power and importance: by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Gal. 6:14). What do these words of the apostle mean? They mean only one thing—that the cross is placed upon the whole world as a kind of measuring-stick of Divine righteousness and Divine truth…
We have counted off 1025 years of our common history which has developed under the cross of St. Andrew the First Called. And today the whole plenitude of the Orthodox Church, through her primates, bishops and priests, has assembled here, in the Kiev Laura of the Caves, to thank God before this very cross of St. Andrew for the fact that the apostle’s prophecy about Orthodoxy in our lands, about the truth shining forth in them, has come true.
Beloved in the Lord Your Graces the archpastors, all-honourable presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters! On this great and radiant day I congratulate you from the depths of my heart on the Lord’s Passover and greet each of you with these ancient and holy words: CHRIST IS RISEN!
I am happy to have the opportunity to conclude the first week of Great Lent with the solemn All-Night Vigil in Sretensky Monastery. This was a very special week, particularly for those who were able to attend church. But even for those who were not able, the very remembrance, the very thought that we have entered the arena of the Holy Forty Days Fast has undoubtedly left a beneficial mark upon our thoughts and deeds. It is during the first week of Great Lent that many people make important decisions to change in their lives.
The Creator, in loving his creation, ‘was manifest in the flesh’, ‘became man’ and ‘like as we are, yet without sin’ (see: 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 4:15). The Infant lay in a manger in Bethlehem. He did this in order to save the world from spiritual and moral decay, to liberate the human person from fear of death. The Maker lays before us the greatest gift of all: his divine love and the fullness of life. In Christ we can find hope that conquers fear, we can attain holiness and immortality.
By Divine Mercy, the situation in our country changed fundamentally. Orthodox Christians took this as a gift from above. The Russian Orthodox Church obtained full freedom, including in the area of church-state relations. Division was painful for the entire Church, a sorrow for the whole people. This is no exaggeration; one needs only remember the attention paid by society as our reconciliation began.
On February 1, 2012, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the three year anniversary of his enthronement with Divine Liturgy in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, Moscow. His Holiness appeared on Russian television to answer questions about religious life posed by TV commentator Dimitry Kiselev.