NEW YORK: November 19, 2010
STATEMENT BY THE FIRST HIERARCH OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH ABROAD on the 90th anniversary of the Great Russian Exodux from Crimea.
||From the Editors: Today, November 19, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrated Divine Liturgy as he marked the 90th anniversary of the Great Russian Exodus from Crimea. He was joined in the service by His Grace Bishop John of Caracas and South America and His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan. At the end of the service, His Eminence performed a pannikhida for “those who died in foreign lands.” Tomorrow, on the 90th anniversary of Holy Patriarch Tikhon’s issuance of Ukase No. 362, His Eminence will again celebrate Divine Liturgy in St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, NY.
Brethren Archpastors! Honorable Fathers, Dear in the Lord Brothers and Sisters!
I appeal to you with an open heart today as we perform prayerful commemoration of the late Primates of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, her archpastors and all our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters laid to rest in foreign lands; when we begin to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Great Russian Exodus of thousands of people, utterly unaware of what lies ahead, this tragic event, a result of the Russian Revolution, the Civil War and the reign of godlessness in our country. With us were 30 bishops, countless clergymen, and almost the entire White Army, headed by General Wrangel. There were some 250 cruisers, torpedo-boats, submarines, regular ships, and barges hauled by tugboats and other vessels. The people of Sevastopol came to the port to see them off. The clergymen performed molebens, at the end of which everyone sank to their knees—Russian Orthodox people were bidding farewell to Russia, but they had the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, which became their guide.
And now there is not a country in the world, not one city, where there are no Russian Orthodox Christians, or their bones. Over these 90 years, glory and thanks to God, we preserved the Church and the traditions of Russia. Despite all our failings and faults, we never betrayed Christ, we did not turn away from the Local Russian Orthodox Church; to the extent possible, we preserved and protected her holy relics and sites abroad, spoke the truth in the West about her sufferings, about the martyrs and confessors, whose podvigi have become the seeds of genuine rebirth in our Homeland. We tried to preserve and increase all that by which Holy Russia lived for a thousand years. This is our image. We are obliged to preserve them in order to serve our Fatherland, the Russian Orthodox Church and our neighbor. This richest of legacies must be generously shared with those who live near to us, so that the Orthodoxy of Holy Russia and her culture, suffused with spirituality, with shine throughout the world.
Making this call to us are all of our holy ancestors and New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, who sprinkled our dear Fatherland with their blood, sweat and tears. Our historic Homeland calls upon all of us to do this. To this, the Lord Himself calls us! Amen.
With love in the Lord and beseeching your prayers,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
November 19, 2010