Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations (DECR) has sent messages of Christmas and New Year greetings to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, King Philip VII of Spain, Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, President of Austria Heinz Fischer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel, President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, President of Poland Andrzei Duda, Head of the Bulgarian Royal Family Tsar Simeon II, Head of the Prussian Royal House Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, and others. The messages states:
Kindly accept my heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year.
As the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian says, the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ (1 Jn 2:20). The event we are celebrating these days has become a turning point for many generations of people as it has heralded the beginning of a new era.
Today all the true followers of Christ are faced with the task to preserve and multiply in their personal life and in the society around them the intransient ideals of evangelical love and sacrifice, the virtues of mercy and compassion for our neighbours and to promote peaceful and mutually respectful relations between countries and peoples.
In these radiant days, I wish you spiritual and physical strength, God’s help and success in your good works.
Metropolitan of Volokolamsk
Department for External Church Relations