JORDANVILLE: October 26,2003


The Second Anniversary of the First Hierarch
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus

By God's mercy, the second year of service as the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurushas passed, and we, the flock of the Russian Church, once again thank the Lord that in such difficult times He granted the Church Abroad such a devoted, sober and humble First Hierarch.

All praise only embarasses our First Hierarch, and so we will not enumerate all his qualities. When Vladyka Metropolitan Laurus was selected by the Holy Spirit to be the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, he said that that which he had feared most had come to pass, but in obedience to God, obedience to the Church, obedience to the Council of Bishops he would try to bear the cross of the First Hierarchy.

One archpastor called Vladyka Laurus "the most important obedient of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia." Indeed, Vladyka Metropolitan, despite his physical ailments, does not spare himself and serves his Church and Homeland with devotion. Almost all the parishes of the Church Abroad established after World War II have celebrated their 50th anniversaries in the last two years. Vladyka Laurus constantly visits parishes of the Church Abroad all over the world, praying together with his clergymen, his flock.

Vladyka Laurus is, as was Holy Patriarch Tikhon, not a man of many words. He is not a theoretician or an ideologue, but a monk, and his theology is service and works of love, made in humility and simplicity. For this reason it is no surprise that during these two years, peace has reigned, steadiness, trust, love and conciliarity in the life of our Church.

All the faithful children are called to raise their prayers for His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus (the anniversary of his enthronement is 28 October). The best gift to Vladyka Laurus is for us to work for our own salvation and to live in love and unity of mind.

Eis polla eti despota, Your Eminence Vladyka!

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