Your Eminence Vladyko, Merciful Father
and Chief Pastor of the Orthodox Christians of Kazakhstan,
Reverend Brother Hierarch, Honorable Fathers, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Please accept my words of congratulations, filled with Christian love, on the great event of the visit to the Kazakhstan Metropoliate of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign,” the ancient holy image of the Russian Orthodox Church, which drew the prayers of St Seraphim of Sarov, St John (Maximovich), Tsars, generals, writers, civil and social figures, those who grieved and ascetics of piety, martyrs of the recent period of our history and a multitude of our ancestors, with hope for the mercy of the Queen of Heaven, seeking Her miraculous protection and intercession, and receiving them in response to their staunch faith.
I take this opportunity to joyously congratulate you on these significant dates: the fifteenth anniversary of the canonization of the Host of New Martyrs and Confessors of Kazakhstan, the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Astana and Almaty Diocese and the thirtieth anniversary of the personal Pentecost and honorable archpastoral service of Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan.
I pray in unity of soul with all of you on these days, warmly wishing all the participants of this historic time profound, grace-filled and all-strengthening joy, as was declared by Archangel Gabriel on the day of the Annunciation. May each one of you ascend in spirit upon the tender waves of this gladness and sense how easy and blissful it is to stand before the Most-Blessed Mother of God, Who visits the Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan in the form of Her miracle-working Icon. May the Lord grant both jubilance of heart, and through the prayers of the Most-Pure Virgin, renewal of strength in the service of Your Eminence Metropolitan Alexander, the archpastors, clery and flock of the Kazakhstan Metropoliate! I believe that from the seeds planted by the martyric feats of the saints of Kazakhstan, today’s blossoming tree of peaceful Church life now grows, and wherever the saints poured their tears and blood, Orthodox Christian believers will now reap joy, blessing the glorious names of their predecessors.
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11). Amen.
With love in Christ and beseeching your holy prayers,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.