Patriarch Alexy I’s Homily on Victory Day, 1945

Does victory bring forth only a sense of joy? It also brings forth a sense of obligation, a sense of duty, a sense of responsibility for the present and the future, a sense of the necessity of strengthening our labor in order to secure victory, in order to make it fruitful, in order to heal the wounds of war.

… Glory and thanksgiving unto God!

Peace on the Russian land and, thanks to the united efforts of the Allied governments and forces – peace on many lands…

… God confounded the impudent dreams of evil-doers and thieves, and now we see them bearing terrible retribution for their evil-doing.

We confidently and patiently awaited this joyous day of the Lord, a day on which the Lord gave forth His righteous judgment upon the most bitter enemies of mankind; and Orthodox Russia – after unprecedented military feats, after the incredible exertion of all the powers of the nation, which stood as one for the defense of the Homeland, not sparing life itself for the sake of the salvation of the Fatherland – now stands before the Lord of power in prayer, gratefully calling upon the very Source of victory and peace for His heavenly help in the hour of battle, for the joy of victory, and for granting peace to the whole world.

Does victory bring forth only a sense of joy? It also brings forth a sense of obligation, a sense of duty, a sense of responsibility for the present and the future, a sense of the necessity of strengthening our labor in order to secure victory, in order to make it fruitful, in order to heal the wounds of war.

Many hard things remain for us to do, but now we can breathe freely and joyfully take up our work, which is hard but constructive.

If during the War we triumphantly overcame all difficulties, all deprivations, and all hardships at the front and in the rear with the unshakeable belief in the ultimate triumph of the good cause, then with the same redoubled force ought we to reconstruct our cities, each one of which is a war hero, and our dear and sacred monuments – everything that the powerful will and sovereign might of our great nation has created.

With reverence let us recall the exploits of our valiant armies and of those of our friends and relatives who laid down their life for our temporal happiness in the hope of life eternal – we shall never cease to pray for them, finding consolation therein in our mourning for the loss of those dear to our hearts and strengthening our faith in God’s boundless mercy for them who have departed for the world on high, and in God’s all-powerful help for us, to whom it is given to continue their earthly exploits for the prosperity of life in all the world.

May our prayer be sent forth as incense before the Lord!

May the heavens pass by!

May the holy intercessors for the land of Russia be brought before the Lord’s Throne!

May God continue to grant His blessings upon our Homeland, and may He grant that our leaders and rulers conquer everything that is hostile to peace and the good of our great Fatherland with the peaceful weapons of governmental wisdom and righteousness; and may the combined efforts of the victorious nations establish an order in all the world that will not allow for the repetition of the horrors of war!

Our Holy Church – in the persons of its archpastors, pastors, and all the faithful – calls upon us to pray for the peaceful prosperity of our country with the same zeal and the same ardent faith with which it prayed in the times of trial for victory over our enemies. And may this prayer be equally pleasing before God!

“Blessed art Thou, O God, Who hast tamed the wild beasts and quenched the fire…” (Canon of the service of the Laudation of the Mother of God.”

ALEXY,

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

Moscow, May 9, 1945.  

Translated from the Russian.

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