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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent the following greeting to the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople with his Nameday:

Your Holiness:

On the commemoration day of your heavenly patron – the holy Apostle Bartholomew, please accept my respectful greetings with Your Nameday.

Over half a century ago, while you were attiring monastic robes, your spiritual mentor, Metropolitan Meletios of Imbros, has given you the name of the holy Apostle Bartholomew. Heavenly intercession of this saint has been accompanying You from the first days of Your pastoral ministry and graciously strengthened You in Your many labours and pastoral concerns of Primate of the Holy Orthodox Church of Constantinople placed by the Holy Spirit “to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son” (Acts 20:28).

While glorifying with prayers the apostle of Christ, I, together with Your flock named after Christ, beseech the one who alone is bountiful (2 Mac 1:25) physical health, peace of the soul and strength for Your successful primatial labours in future. Many and good years to You!

With respect and love in the Lord,

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Chairman

Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate