The Primate of the Orthodox Church in America was met at the gates by Archbishop Yevgeniy of Vereya, rector of the Moscow Theological Schools. Metropolitan Jonah venerated the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh in the Cathedral of the Trinity and other holy sites of the Laura, and saw the exhibits of the Church Archeological Museum at the Moscow Theological Academy.
The Feast of Theophany in Berat (photo gallery)
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace (Ps. 28:11).
PATRIARCHAL ADDRESS ON THE NEW YEAR
Dear Children of our Holy Church,
Beloved in the Lord children of our Church,
We glorify and sing praises unto our highly generous and most merciful heavenly Father, as He has been preserving us by His graceful providence during the year which passed away in peace, keeping us in safety and protecting us from every harm and destruction, maintaining us consolidated in our faith and diligent in good works and patient along the way of truth and justice. The days past however sink not into oblivion and our responsibility binding us to the course of these days makes for our feeling great satisfaction about every success we have achieved as well as for our feeling high regret over every failure we have experienced in the hard struggle against the worldly passions and temptations. The New Year's Eve is distinguished not only by noisy celebrations, for we refer to it also as time of detailed reconsideration of all the past months as well as of an exciting coming together the new annual ring which we are to join regenerated and pure in heart (cf. Math.5:8) in order to experience the new creation (cf. Gal. 6:15).
6 January 2011, over 3000 faithful were present at the Patriarchal Hill. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated the Great Consecration of the Holy Water in front of the Patriarchal Residence, together with His Grace Ciprian Campineanul and His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Assistant Bishops to the Patriarch, assisted by a group of priests and deacons. As every year, on the eve on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, an ice cross was put in the courtyard of the Patriarchal Cathedral, about three metres high, decorated with flowers, fir branches and basil.
On the Sunday after the Baptism of the Lord, 9 January 2011, the evangelical fragment on the beginning of the preaching of the Lord was read in the Orthodox churches. In the sermon delivered in the chapel of the "Saint Gregory the Enlightener" of the Patriarchal Residence, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel showed that the text read reveals three great truths: "The relationship between the Baptism of the Lord and the Gospel He starts to preach after He was baptised and tempted in the desert. The second great truth is the relationship between the Baptism of the Lord, repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven. The third great truth is the light of the Baptism of the Lord which becomes the light of our Christian life."
His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, and Metropolitan of Abkhazeti and Bichvinta Ilia II wished the parish forthcoming Happy Nativity and New Year. The Patriarch talked about the human mind during His Sunday preach. As His Holiness states, according to the scientists human mind does not depend on physical body, "Our mind depends on our soul. Human mind shall permanently be trained, thus needed thinking and reading books. Some people drive to despair, but we shall remember that the outcome always exists. A man shall always do whatever he likes to do. Idleness deaden our mind and weaken or spiritual strength" stated the Patriarch.