Kiev, August 18, 2023
The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrated the anniversary of the enthronement of its primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine this week.
This year marks the 9th anniversary of primatial ministry. The celebration began on Wednesday with the All-Night Vigil in the St. Agapit Church at the Kiev Caves Lavra. His Beatitude was joined by a host of hierarchs and clergy
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated yesterday morning in the same church. During the Little Entrance, Met. Onuphry elevated five hierarchs to the ranks of archbishop and metropolitan.
Following the Liturgy, prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for those who are suffering. Greetings to His Beatitude were then read from His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Poland.
Archpriest Alexander Rentel, the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America read a greeting from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington and All America and Canada and presented Met. Onuphry with an icon of St. Herman of Alaska. Met. Tikhon wrote:
I have long assured Your Beatitude of my brotherly prayers for your primatial ministry. The faithful of the Orthodox Church in America have, in prayers and in works, embraced the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and all the Ukrainian people. Now, today, as a sign of our fraternity and unity in Christ, I offer you this icon of our beloved saint Herman. In the same way that he has been an unfailing defender and bright North Star for the Orthodox Church in America, may he become a staunch and unflagging intercessor and prayerful guide for Your Beatitude, for Your See of Kyiv and All Ukraine, for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and for the Ukrainian nation and people
Congratulations were also received by His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Orthodox Church and His Eminence Metropolitan Stefan of Ohrid of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric.
Met. Onuphry offered his heartfelt thanks to all those who prayerfully support him. He stressed that all temptations encountered on the path of believers in Christ the Savior are aimed at weakening or even destroying our love for God and for our neighbor. He emphasized that:
The most striking and spiritually destroying people are slander and lies. But the greatest reward from God will be for the person who can bear it with dignity. The Savior, Who had no sin, was blamed for all the misdeeds that existed at that time, and was blamed for everything, but the Lord endured all this with gratitude, as a man. And He defeated evil, defeated death, and destroyed hell as God.
All the believers present also congratulated their beloved archpastor on his anniversary.