While those who follow the new calendar may have already seen some of these Christmas messages from the heads of our Local Churches, we present them again here together, as a multiple blessing for the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
By the mercy of God, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch: grace, mercy, and peace to all the fullness of the Church from Christ, the Saviour born in Bethlehem.
On January 4 the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II turned 83. He has lead the spiritual life of the Georgian Orthodox Church for 38 years.
Marking the festive date a special concert was held at Tbilisi Concert Hall. During the concert the Patriarch also sung the Church hymns which he had written by him.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
(1 Jn 4:9)
Your Eminences the archpastors, esteemed fathers,
all-honourable monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
It is with a heart overflowing with joy in the Son of God who has come in the flesh that I address all of you and congratulate you on the radiant and life-bearing feast of the Nativity of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The canonization of the Righteous John the Barefooted took place at the Nativity of the Mother of God – Desyatinnaya Monastery in Kiev, on December 29, 2015. On this occasion, His Beatitude Onuphry, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine (Patriarchate of Moscow) officiated the Divine Liturgy. Also participating were Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovasrk, Archbishop Alexander of Horodnytsya, Bishop Philaret of Novokahovsk and Henichesk, Bishop Varsanufy of Borodyansk, Bishop Damian of Fastiv, and Archimandrite Gedeon Haron, the abbot of the monastery.
After the Divine Liturgy, the last memorial service was officiated for the soul of the Righteous John the “Barefooted” the Fool for Christ, following which Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol read out the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from June 19, 2014 (journal no. 17) regarding the enlistment of Righteous John the Barefooted (†1849) among the local saints of the Eparchy of Kiev. Next, Bishop Damian of Fastovsk read the life of the newly glorified saint.
The Saint Paul Orthodox Theological School in Medan, North Sumatra, was founded in 2005. Our aim was, through this School, to spread the light of Orthodoxy, because without the necessary means, it is difficult for us to preach faith in Indonesia. This is why the School of Theology was the basis for the further dissemination of the Orthodox faith.