Church of Serbia– May 2016
THE MOST HOLY PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE, IN CHRIST GOD BELOVED AND MOST DEAREST BROTHER AND CONCELEBRANT OF OUR HUMBLENESS KYR B A R T H O L O M E W, EMBRACING YOUR ESTEEMED HOLINESS BROTHERLY IN THE LORD, WE MOST CORDIALLY GREET YOU.
It is with gratitude that We received Your kind letter by which You express the sympathies of the Most Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate after fire that swept through the Saint Sava Church in New York on the very day when our Holy Church was celebrating the Feast of feasts – the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The faithful of this Parish, the Orthodox faithful in New York and the entire Serbian Orthodox Church, find, in Your concern and Your love, consolation upon the tragedy that has befallen this church with historical significance in the New World. Having compassion in this way with the local Serbian Church, Your Holiness shows fraternal care, and above all Christian love, because “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it” (1 Cor. 12:26).
Saint Sava Church in New York has suffered, but we are confident that with the faith of the people it will be resurrected again and raised from the ashes. In burning, the Church of Saint Sava all the more inflamed the desire of Orthodox people for its renewal. In rebuilding and restoring the temple, we see an opportunity to witness and kindle our love for sacred places – a faith that is already unquenchably heated by the burned relics of Saint Sava. Our hope is that this sacred church will as soon as possible be made ready for the continuation of the active life of worship, to the glory of the All-Merciful God, Who watches over all and takes all into account, to the joy and spiritual benefit of Orthodox believers of New York City and the United States.
In brotherly love, We once again express Our whole-hearted gratitude to Your highly esteemed and beloved Holiness, and in Your person to the pleroma of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, for love and prayerful support in the moments of suffering, again and again greeting You in the joy of the Feast of feasts, with the most joyous greeting:
Christ is Risen – indeed He is Risen!