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MOSCOW: September 30, 2010
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Congratulates Bishop Agapit

Your Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart, Vicar of the Berlin Diocese:

I send my heartfelt greetings on your 55th birthday.

Having loved divine services since your childhood, when the time came as a young man to choose your life’s path, you followed Christ the Savior with determination, making your offering to Him of monastic vows. In Munich’s Monastery of St Job of Pochaev, you gathered greater and greater spiritual strength, performing your podvigi in obedience to your Abbot. Earnestly fulfilling your tasks, you also found the time for research in the area of biblical archaeology, in order to spread the good tidings of the Word which became flesh (John 1:14) through scholarly work blessed by grace and truth.

When the Lord called you to archpastoral service, you accepted the staff of Vicar of the Berlin Diocese with humility. Remembering that God “hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit,” (2 Corinthians 3:6), you honorably and with dignity fulfilled all the duties entrusted to you.

For more than nine years now you devote a great deal of effort to administering your diocese, guiding both monastics and the laity in the faith in Christ. It brings joy to see that as you bear your archpastoral burdens on various continents, you actively respond to events in the ecclesiastical life of Russia to the benefit of your flock.

In view of your earnest efforts, and to mark your 55th birthday, I deem it proper to grant you a commemorative panaghia.

Through the good-hearted intercession of the Mother of God and your heavenly protector, may the All-Merciful Lord grant you good health, strength and boldness of spirit, devotedly preserving the traditions of Holy Orthodoxy, witnessing Him “which is, and which was, and which is to come” (Revelations 1:8).

With love in Christ,

+KIRILL,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA