The following congratulatory address was extended by Archbishop Niphon of Philippople to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on behalf of representatives of Local Orthodox Churches on the occasion of the Patriarch’s patron saint day, during a grand reception held on May 24.
On behalf of the representatives of Local Orthodox Churches to your Holy See, kindly accept heartfelt greetings on the occasion of the day of your patron saint.
Responding to the call of our Saviour, we emulate you heavenly patron, instructing and edifying the people of God and, according to St. Theophylactus, ‘captivating every mind into the obedience of Christ’. Your bright preaching has drawn a wide response both inside and outside Russia. Your books have been translated into other languages, and your primatial visits have strengthened the hopes of Christians in other countries, especially in the Middle East.
The Patriarchal name day is a feast for the whole Church, for it is for her sake that you live and for her sake that you give your soul, feeling not weak for those who are weak, and burning inwardly for those who are led into sin (cf. 2 Cor. 11:29).
We can see how many fruitful transformations you have brought into the Russian Church and share the joy of your millions-strong flock in that they have a modern leader who bears witness to the Gospel’s truth before the whole world.
Concelebrating with you, the Primates of the Holy Russian Church and the Holy Church of Jerusalem, in our common prayer we have experienced timeless unity with the great Teachers of the Church whose memory we celebrate today and have felt their protection.
May your Patriarchal ministry, through the interception of St Cyril Equal-to-the-Apostles and the protection of our Most Holy Lady, be for the glory of the Russian Orthodox Church and the entire Orthodoxy and to you personally, a staircase leading to Heaven. Amen.
Archbishop of Philippople
Representative of the Patriarch of Great Antioch and All the East
to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia