MEXICO CITY: January 20, 2014
Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk Visits Holy Trinity Monastery in Mexico
On Saturday, January 18, 2014, on the Eve of the Epiphany, His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, visited the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Holy Trinity Monastery in Mexico City, Mexico, where he prayed at all-night vigil. After the service, the hierarch welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, who came to Mexico for joint prayerful communion with a delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate. The latter noted the importance of the visit of Metropolitan Ilarion to this nation and congratulated him on his having received the award of the Medal of the Honorary Legion of Mexico.
Vladyka Ilarion then addressed the worshipers:
Your Eminence, Deaf Vladyka Archbishop Kyrill, Dear Fr Nektarios, Dear Brothers and Sisters:
First of all, I wish to relay to you the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. He has visited Mexico himself and knows well the needs of the Orthodox faithful in this nation, and asked that I pass on to you his love.
The Orthodox Faith strengthens us on our life’s path, and it is very important that Russian people, even when they are very far from their Homeland, cherish and love the Holy Orthodox Faith, which we inherited from our ancestors and which we strive to pass on to our descendants.
It is no less important, too, that the members of the Russian Orthodox Church themselves represent the broadest scope of nationalities, speaking in their own tongues. Our Church is Russian in its spiritual roots, but is not exclusively Russian in the language of its divine services, nor in the daily language of our parishioners. Believers of the Russian Orthodox Church speak Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Moldovan, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and many other languages, being united by the Orthodox Church, the Holy Eucharist and love for the spiritual legacy of Holy Russia.
Last year, our multi-national and multi-million-member Church celebrated the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. The historic Russian Church originated when Holy Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, baptized the Russian people in the waters of the Dniepr River, and he became the protector and disseminator of the Orthodox Faith, for it was not only on the territory of Holy Russia, which grew over the course of centuries, but spread even beyond its borders when Russian people carried the light of the Orthodox Faith to other peoples.
After the 1917 Revolution, when hundreds of thousands of Russian people found themselves outside of Russia’s borders, the first thing they would do was build churches. In the 1990’s, when a new wave of émigrés spread to many countries, including lands far from historical Russia, new Orthodox churches were built. Over many decades, when the Orthodox Faith in the Fatherland was persecuted, the diaspora, including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, carefully preserved it.
Now, after the reestablishment of unity within the Russian Church, we speak of the spiritual podvig of our ancestors not only in the Fatherland, but abroad, because our Church survived and even today continues in survive as a single multinational organism. Traveling from Moscow to this distant nation of Mexico, we can find here our Orthodox believers: those who speak Russian, and those who do not, but who cherish the Orthodox Faith and legacy of Holy Russia here on this land.
I wish for this parish and this monastery further success and Divine help in your responsible service here. I invoke God’s blessing upon you and desire that you firmly preserve the Orthodox Faith, so that our compatriots who live here permanently now not only keep the Orthodox Faith and Russian language for themselves, but pass it on to their children and grandchildren. I hope that we all remember forever: if the Lord situated us Russian Orthodox faithful on this land, this means that He entrusted to us a special Apostolic mission comprised not only of staunchly preserving, but of disseminating and preaching the Holy Orthodox Faith.
I greet all of you on this feast day of the Baptism of the Lord, and may the Lord preserve you all, each one of you, on the pathways of your lives. Congratulations on this holiday!
That evening, Mr Eduard Malayan, the Russian Ambassador to Mexico, hosted a dinner in honor of the President of the DECR and his delegation.