January 30, 2016
Your Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain:
I send my heartfelt greetings to you on your 75 th birthday.
Having converted to Orthodoxy in your younger years, you devoted the rest of your life to bear witness to the eternal Gospel truths and the undying glory of the Name of Christ. You were faced with many difficulties in your effort to “grow and multiply the Word of God” (Acts 12:24 ), as a result of which the Church received new devoted members seeking salvation.
Your spiritual maturity was bolstered by your relationship with renowned elders of Mount Athos, studying the legacy of the Holy Fathers, Slavic languages and literature. Sensing the calling forty years ago, you made your monastic vows and were able to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit, which joined you to the servants at the altar of the Lord. Since then, you painstakingly perform every obedience that the Church lays upon your shoulders. Of these is the thirty-five years of archpastorl service you have borne.
Ruling the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Germany, Great Britain and Ireland, you have through the coordination of your efforts strived to bear witness to your contemporaries of the transformative power of “faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6). It gives me joy to note the special attention you always paid to educational efforts and preaching, including that aimed at younger generations. This mission is especially important today, when spiritual and moral values and ancient Christian traditions are being squeezed out of social life.
In recognition of your zealous service and your 75 th birthday, I deem it just to grant to you a memorial panaghia.
I prayerfully wish you strength, Divine aid and success in your future archpastoral labors.
May the Lord preserve you in good health for many years through the intercession of the Queen of Heaven.
With love in Christ,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA