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MOSCOW: March 16, 2012
Patriarchal Congratulations to Bishop John of Caracas and South America on His 55th Birthday

To His Grace Bishop John of Caracas and South America:

Your Grace:

I send my heartfelt congratulations on your 55th birthday, and prayerfully wish you strength of spirit and Divine aid in your archpastoral labors.

Witnessing the Truth, preaching the “acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:2), we all, archpastors, pastors, monastics and laity of the united Russian Orthodox Church, must in word and deed, in good will towards our neighbors, exhibit “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

Our mission is to illuminate our contemporaries with the light of the Gospel, in creating and increasing church communities and to preach Divine Truth. It is a joy to see that for almost a quarter of a century, you have earnestly and responsibly fulfilled various obediences to which our Chief Pastor, Christ, has called you.

In recognition of your zealous service and to mark your 55th birthday, I deem it proper to award you the Medal of St Seraphim of Sarov, 2nd class.

May the Savior preserve you through the intercession of the Queen of Heaven in good health for many blessed years.

With love in the Lord,

+KIRILL,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA