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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, greeted Pope Francis; Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Garegin II of All Armenians; Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury; Bishop Dr. Heinrich Bedford-Strom, chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, and heads of other non-Orthodox Churches with the feast of Easter. The text is given below.

From the depths of my heart I congratulate you on the Bright Resurrection of Christ as I address you with the words of the ancient Christian greeting:


            The Resurrection of Christ has become the most important event in human history which has revealed God’s love for his creation. Having suffered for every one of us, the Author of life was not held captive to death, yet conquered the devil by destroying the gates of hell. Christ’s victory over death has significance for all those who believe in him, for, as St. Athanasius the Great says: “If Christ is risen in glory, then it is evident that resurrection will happen to all of us; and if his body was incorrupt, then there can be no doubt too that we will be incorrupt. For if through one man… sin entered into all people, then we will all rise through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” (11th Festal Letter, 14).

Let us, then, glorify God “who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3) and let us throughout our life journey be guided by his divine commandments.

I wish you good health and the gracious aid of God in your lofty ministry.

+ Hilarion

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk


Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate