Home page News
Bishop Veniamin of Minsk: Today spiritual struggle…

Bishop Veniamin of Minsk: Today spiritual struggle is going on for our Motherland

On August 26, 2020, the Day of the Minsk Icon of the Mother of God, Bishop Veniamin, elected Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus, addressed himself to the faithful of the Belorussian Orthodox Church with an archpastoral homily.

O Virgin the Hodegetria, full of grace and charity,

Rejoice, giving joy to the faithful

Rejoice, O swift helper to all those in trial and sorrow”

(Canon to the Most Holy Mother of God the Hodegetria)

Peace be to you!

My first address to you as primate of the Belorussian Orthodox Church will not be solemn and elevated. It will stem from the pain of my heart for my dear people and for our land, out of love for all of you.

Our sorrows and feelings from the time of Lent to this day are rapidly replacing each other. We are seeking an outcome and still cannot find it. But what did our pious ancestors do in such cases and what do saints teach us? What does the spiritual comprehension of the developments lie in?

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” (Clive Lewis). We have to bring peace back to our land and to our hearts.

In these last day of the Dormition Fast devoted to the remembrance of the last days of the Most Holy Mother of God on earth, I call upon all Christians to observe the fast strictly and to prolong it for three days. When the old city of Nineveh was facing a threat, all its people assigned themselves and even animals a fast, and God’s mercy came (Jonah 3:5-10). During our fasting let us intensify our prayer, common and individual, for Belarus. In churches and churchyards let us unite for a common prayer, kindle the icon-lamps of ardent prayer for the whole Belarus in each home.

One more important thing without which there can be no return of peace is repentance for committed sins. Let us recall that the Greek word metanoia translated traditionally as ‘repentance’ literarily means ‘a change of mind’. The Church of Christ calls each of us to become aware of our sins, to fill ourselves with desire for their forgiveness, to resort to the sacrament of Confession and, most importantly, to bring forth fruits meet for repentance (Mt. 3:8) – to redress the committed sin and its negative consequences. The change of minds, the change of hearts from evil to good, from falsehood to truth, from division to unity, from condemnation to understanding – these are the changes so much needed by our society in the first place.

All of us, Orthodox believers, are aware of the power of common prayer and aware that, along with outward confrontation, what is going on is a spiritual struggle for our Motherland and in the heart of each of us we are called to intensify our prayer with eagerness and daring, faith, hope and love for God and our neighbors. This unity in common prayer and love according to the faith and the law of Christ has always been an inalienable rule in White Rus’ in overcoming various misfortunes, sorrows, illnesses and troubles.

The recent sorrowful events in our Motherland have happened because our hearts have bent to an evil side, because the light of Christ could not shine forth in this dark time when a sin of lawlessness was manifested.

I believe that if we fulfil with inspiration, zeal and unanimity our intention to spend these three days fasting, praying and repenting, then we will quickly see a response from Heaven and understanding what we, people of Belarus, are to do to defeat evil by good and prevent evil in future.

The Gospel says: ‘Come and see!’ (Jn. 1:46), I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, ‘let us come to the Lord and see’. Indeed, not all the Orthodox Christians observe fasts nowadays; many have not purified their soul with repentance for a long time. The desire to make one’s life better is quite natural for a person but when one fails to call for help from above while exerting only human efforts, then the result will be the same as that of the builders of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). Let us begin our journey for the good of the Motherland on the day of the old shrine of Belarus and the whole Orthodox world – the Minsk Icon of the Mother of God, whose image on the emblem of our capital city is like a commandment from previous generations to venerate the Mother of God, to solicit Her help and protection. The Lord will always hear our Intercessor and Protectress – the Most Holy Mother of God as He heard her in Cana of Galilee, though His time had not yet come to openly work wonders and mercies for His people.

“We have no other help, no other hope except you, the Queen. Help us; you are our hope and we praise you, for we are your slaves; let us not be ashamed of it!”

May the Lord and the Mother of God and the saints always be with us, especially now in our good first joint initiative!

+ Bishop Veniamin

 Elected Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavsk

 Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus.


DECR Communication Service

BOC official website


Statement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the resumption of armed hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences on the earthquake in Morocco


Patriarch Kirill Holds Negotiations With Primate of The Malankara Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Metropolitan Damaskinos of São Paolo and All Brazil


Congratulations of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on successful landing of Indian spacecraft on the Moon


On the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates the Divine Liturgy at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral.


On the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates All-Night Vigil at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill invoked God’s blessing upon the work of the Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of the Japanese Orthodox Church


Patriarchal condolences over the passing away of Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill issues statement following guilty verdict against Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchyn and Bratslav


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s response to an open address of Archbishop Victor of Artsiz to His Holiness and members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Russian Orthodox Church’s presence in Africa dates back to 19th century


Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the 2nd Russia–Africa Summit


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: “The actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople have paved the way for ecclesiastical disorder.”


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: As long as the Church does not adopt a conciliar judgement on the falling away of such and such bishops and priests into a schism, the sacraments they celebrate remain valid


DECR Chairman partakes in celebrations marking tenth anniversary of the consecration of the Armenian church complex in Moscow


DECR Chairman meets with Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of the Japanese Orthodox Church


DECR Chairman meets with Charge d'Affaires of Russia in Japan


DECR Chairman meets Primate of Malankara Church of India


DECR Chairman meets with representatives of Orthodox Church in America


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Metropolitan Damaskinos of São Paolo and All Brazil


On the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates the Divine Liturgy at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral.


On the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates All-Night Vigil at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow


DECR chairman sends condolences over the death of Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan


Hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church visits the Department for External Church Relations


DECR chairman meets with head of Diocese of Novo-Nakhichevan of Armenian Orthodox Church


Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations meets with EU ambassador in Russia


Chairman of the DECR meets with Russian ambassador to Canada.


DECR chairman meets with Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: We welcome any mediatory mission aimed to overcome the tragic conflict in Ukraine and to bring about the prompt establishment of a just peace


Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life


On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people


Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible


Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people


Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us


Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation


Page is available in the following languages

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب