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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, sent a congratulatory message to Metropolitan Gregory of Veliko Tarnovo on the occasion of the remarkable date in his life.


Your Eminence, Dear Vladyka!

I cordially congratulate you on your 70th birthday!

From your youth you have embarked on the path of service for the Holy Church of Christ dedicating yourself to studying Orthodox theology and preaching the faith of the forefathers, overflowing with thankfulness (Col. 2:7).. Growing spiritually in your zealous work in the field of Christ, you have been an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (1 Tim. 4:12) and having been vouchsafed with the grace of archpastoral ministry, you have done much to help restore church education and spiritual revival of the Bulgarian people.

Through your prayers and archpastoral blessing, the life of the old city of Tyrnovo continues today as it did in the days of old (Ps. 142:5) when it was a torch of Slavic enlightenment glorified by the work of St. Euphemius and his disciples wise in God. We are deeply grateful to Your Eminence for your prayerful memory of the Russian warriors who fell in action for the freedom of the Bulgarian people and who lie in rest in the Bulgarian soil.

On this day so solemn for Your Eminence, kindly accept my wishes of peace, beneficial strengthening of you physical recourses and God’s invariable help for many good years.

Remembering with warmth our talk in Veliko Tarnovo, I remain with brotherly love in the Lord,


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate