Message of His Eminence Seraphim Archbishop of Johannesburg and Pretoria for St. Thomas’s Day

Your Eminence, beloved brother Milutin, in the name of His Beatitude Patriarch of Alexandria Theodoros the Second, priests and faithful of this metropolis, I would like to wish you a warm welcome and kindly ask for your prayers for the advancement of Orthodox Church in Africa and Serbia and for our Churches to continue to exist through their spiritual and missionary work. I would also like to use this opportunity to greet very reverend father Arsenije, abbot of monastery Kaona, which is well-known for monastic life.

With the Blessings of our Patriarchs - Theodoros and Pavle and His Eminence Archbishop of Montenegro Amfilohije, the President of the Holy Synod of SPC, we pray together with dear and respectful Ambassadors of Serbia, Cyprus and Bulgaria, as well as with representatives of Greek and Russian Embassy and with all who gathered, for the protection and strength of our nations and for all the people in our countries and in this country.

Holy relics of saint Bishop Nikolaj the Serb is the special oportunity for us to get direct blessing of the rich spiritual tradition of the Holy Serbian Orthodox Church. We are very grateful to you Your Eminence for presenting us with these valuable holy relics of Saint Nikolaj. We pray to St. Nikolaj to pray for us and to support our spiritual efforts - as it was done thus far by him and St. Thomas.

Your Eminence, we all pray for His Hollines Pavle Patriarch of Serbia. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Serbia and especially for our brothers and sisters who suffer in Kosovo and Metohija. We pray for safe return of the refugees and for all of those who are facing unjustified court proceedings. Sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Metohija are, in deed, our own sufferings. We pray for justice and protection of human rights of Serbian people. Your Eminence, please feel at home here in Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa. Our Patriarch Theodoros and all of us are here for you and Serbian people.

We are Blessed with presence of Very Reverend Archimandrite Pantelejmon (assisted by f. Simo) who is doing his best for the members of this parish and who is helping those in need - day and night, as Apostle Thomas and St. Nikolaj the Serb.

I do pray for all who gathered today in love and respect, not only because of holy relics of St Nikolaj, but for His Eminence Bishop Milutin and abbot father Arsenije, as by this gathering we are sending message to His Hollines Patriarch Pavle of Serbia and His Eminence Archbishop Amfilohije to be proud of the presence of Orthodox people in this country.

I am asking you kindly to stay close to this Church and support your priest's work and to take part in the activities of this parish. May Lord Bless you all through the prayers of St Apostle Thomas, St. Bishop Nikolaj the Serb and our Bishop Milutin ! Have a great St Patron Day! May God be with all of You!

Source: SPCO Johanesburg