NEW YORK: November 29, 2010
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Sends Congratulations to Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk on His Namesday
Your Eminence, Dear in the Lord Vladyka Justinian!
I send my heartfelt greetings to you on behalf of the Holy Council, clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and from me personally, on your namesday, a joyful day for every Christian!
You have headed the Patriarchal Parishes in the United States for only a short period of time, yet we have already established a good and friendly relationship. Despite the challenges of today’s godless world, you, being a worthy servant of the Orthodox Church, earnestly fulfill your responsibilities. Far from our own Homeland, you remind us of our Heavenly Fatherland, guiding the people of God to fulfill His laws. Joint divine services and various measures held under the aegis of the Russian Orthodox Church attest to your tireless service for the good of the Orthodox Christians of America. You tend to the spiritual and moral education of youth, encouraging their love for God and the Church, thereby delivering them from the fatal sinfulness which dominates a life without Christ. You love and cherish your flock; the Church has a consolidating character in uniting people within the one Body of Christ, but without a caring pastor, this is difficult to achieve.
Your heavenly intercessor is renowned in history for his successful struggles against the enemies of the Byzantine Empire. But more than that, he fought against spiritual enemies who deceived the people with heresies. The pious emperor, defending Holy Orthodoxy, was awarded eternal life and earned glory within the Christian Church. He undertook many tasks in spreading Christianity and rooting out paganism. And by composing the grand hymn “The Only Begotten Son,” he shamed the heretics.
Gazing upon your heavenly protector, I wish you to likewise fearlessly defend the Church from Her external and internal enemies. Like St Justinian, may you care for the prosperity of the Holy Orthodox Church, and the dissemination of Russian Orthodoxy outside of our Fatherland. And just as the Apostles, may you bring new members of our common Christian family to Christ, preaching to the pagan world and applying all your strength to this task. May the wisdom of Solomon be your devoted accomplice in making decisions and leading your flock.
I regret that due to ecclesiastical obligations, I cannot personally attend the celebrations and share the joy of your spiritual feast day, but I am with you in spirit and pray before the Divine altar for you, dear Vladyka.
I beseech God to bolster you, granting you spiritual and physical strength for further service to the glory of His Holy Church! Amen!
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia