HIS HOLINESS BARTHOLOMEW
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE-NEW ROME
AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
Your Holiness, Beloved Brother in the Lord and Concelebrant at God’s Altar,
Please accept my fraternal and cordial greetings with the memorable date – the 25th anniversary of your election and elevation to the Throne of Holy Primates of New Rome.
A quarter of a century ago the Lord of peace, Who has a wise dispensation towards His Church, laid on your shoulders a laborious cross of Patriarchal ministry. You were elected to the see, which is covered with the imperishable glory of the great teachers and saints: John Chrysostom, Gregory the Theologian and other holy fathers pleasing unto the Lord. Finding inspiration in “the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12), fought by your blessed predecessors, and bearing in mind all the afflictions and hardships that they suffered, you carry out your Primatial ministry and overcome various temptations, taking a zealous care of the good of the Church and being firm in your trust in God.
During your decades-long Primatial ministry, you have been bearing an active witness to the Orthodox faith in the non-Christian milieu, making considerable efforts aimed at promoting peace and accord among the nations, and zealously defending the human life, the environment and the whole creation of God. Such manifold activities of the Holy Church of Constantinople have received recognition both in the Christian world and beyond, thanks to, among other things, the talents that God granted to you in abundance and that you strive to cultivate.
I especially appreciate the fraternal and constructive nature of our personal relationships, unchanging for many decades, and oour closest cooperation for the benefit of our Churches and the whole Holy Orthodoxy.
On this day, memorable for the plenitude of the Church of Constantinople, I prayerfully wish to Your Holiness the bountiful help from the Lord in your Patriarchal ministry, peace and unceasing joy in the Holy Spirit.
Many and good years!
With brotherly love in Jesus Christ,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA