NEW YORK: November 3, 2017
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York Congratulates the Consul General of the Russian Federation in New York on the Day of National Unity
Your Excellency, Sergei Konstantinovich:
I send my heartfelt greetings to you and all those gathered to celebrate the Day of National Unity, which falls on the feast day of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, one of the most venerated images in the Russian Church, which was discovered in 1579.
The future Hieromartyr Ermogen, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who blessed Prince Pozharsky to lead the militia gathered by Minin from Nizhny Novgorod, witnessed its appearance. Having heard of the miracles which occurred after prayers before the Kazan Icon, the troops took the miraculous icons with them to Moscow, praying constantly for the salvation of their Fatherland from foreign enemies. As we know, despite all the obstacles and tribulations, which seemed humanly impossible to overcome, the faithful sons of Russia were bestowed with Divine mercy and were victorious through the prayers of the Queen of Heaven.
For this reason I deem the decision to celebrate national unity on this actual feast day of the Kazan Icon very wise. This invites us once more to learn about our rich history, to note the spiritual essence of these events and to think about the glorious individuals that were our heroes. This celebration will help us draw lessons from the history of our Russian land and build our present and future, our unity, on the good and solid foundation of the past.
I invoke God’s blessings on all those gathered and prayerfully wish our people, in the Fatherland and scattered throughout the world, unity in what is most important: in faith, in hope and in love!
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
November 4, 2017 ноября 2017 г.