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NEW YORK: October 16, 2007
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus sends congratulations to Patriarch Ilii of Georgia

To His Holiness and Beatitude Katolikos-Patriarch Ilii II of All Georgia.

Your Holiness! Eminent Vladyka!

With gratitude to God, today we celebrate the 30 th anniversary of Your Holiness' election to the Patriarchal Throne. This day is celebrated by the entire Georgian Orthodox Church, for today, in each of its churches, fervent prayer is being made for you, that the Lord strengthens you and grant wisdom to rule with the word of the Truth of Christ.

Your Holiness Vladyka! Allow me today to congratulate you on behalf of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on behalf of the hierarchs, clergymen, the holy monasteries and the whole of our God-loving flock. At every Divine Liturgy we hear the words: "Thine Own of Thine Own we offer unto Thee, on behalf of all and for all." In the Patriarchal service, this exclamation takes on a special meaning, for the Primate of a Church is truly entrusted with the care of all. Knowing this well, we fervently pray to the Lord that He give you strength through the intercession of the saints of Iberia. We pray to St John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker that, using his hierarchal staff, strengthens your Patriarchal sta

Your Holiness! Bless us to grant you an icon of the great holy hierarch of the Russian diaspora as a token of our love and as a reminder that we will always remember your standing firm for the purity of traditional Orthodox Christiani

    Accept our congratulations, our prayerful good wishes and our assurances that we pray for your health and salvation, and that the Lord grants you many good years
With love in the Lord and asking your holy prayer
+Metropolitan Laurus
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia