NEW YORK: February 3, 2012
The First Hierarch Congratulates Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart, Clergy and Flock of the German Diocese and Participants in the Canonization of New Martyr Alexander Schmorell
Dear Brother Archpastors, Dear in the Lord Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:
I prayerfully join you in this important and holy day for the German Diocese, and from my heart greet you on the celebration of the canonization of Holy Martyr Alexander Schmorell, who joins the many millions of Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia!
Through his selfless life, podvigi and martyric death, Alexander Schmorell witnessed his love for God and His Image, reflected in his neighbor. Wickedness despises good. Good tortures the forces of evil, rends it apart, while wickedness gnashes its teeth in hatred and desires that we all depart from God, from Divine love. They tempt us with great power, a power called egotism. It divides mankind, sowing hatred, wrath and condemnation within us. This terrible force wishes to rip us away from God’s love and make us the obedient slaves of our madness. The egotist recognizes only himself, he thinks that all must obey him: he thinks that he alone understands everything and does not love those who do not pay him the respect he lays claim to. The egotist makes an idol of himself, believing everyone must worship him. Egotism is a terrible disease, and the forces of evil exploit it to turn mankind away from God. We must all struggle against this feeling, and the example of the love of the man canonized on this day, New Martyr Alexander, can help us. May he be the intercessor of our spiritual correction, of the renewal of our lives and our internal powers!
Beloved brothers and sisters, since this struggle faces each one of us, let us often turn in prayer to this newly-glorified saint and ask that he help us. May his loving intercession always accompany us in life, and especially in church life!
Once again I congratulate you all with this joyful event and from my soul I wish you bountiful mercies and blessings from God!
With love in the Lord and a request for your prayers,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Synaxis of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia