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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent the following Christmas greeting to Pope Francis, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairman of the EKD Council, and heads of other non-Orthodox Churches:

Allow me to express my heartfelt congratulations on the joyful and all-triumphant feast of the Nativity of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Today we celebrate a wondrous feast replete with gracious joy which St. John Chrysostom calls the ‘mother of all feast’ – the advent of our Saviour who has come into the world to fulfill his mission for the human race granted from the ages. On this miraculous and sacred night there has shone forth from the holy cave the light of divine love which has filled the whole world and shown to people, like the star of Bethlehem, the way to salvation and the acquisition of life eternal in abundance (Jn 10:10).

I prayerfully wish Your Holiness the unsurpassable spiritual joy of this great solemnity and bodily strength for many beneficent years of your Primatial ministry.

With love in the Lord,


Metropolitan of Volokolamsk


Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate