KIEV: March 15, 2018
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine sends a letter to Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York on the tenth anniversary of the death of Metropolitan Laurus
To his Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia:
On this day of the Lord, we prayerfully remember the Primate of the Russian Church Abroad who passed away, Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation”(Hebrews 13:7). Metropolitan Laurus, who gave up his life to the hands of the Lord 10 years ago, is for us the very person and hierarch who serves as an example of the true manifestation of Christian virtue, of which the main one is love. Vladyka Laurus was overfilled with this Divine love and shown it forth upon all who he knew and spoke to. The Holy Church on this Earth is called upon to reveal to mankind an otherworldly reality, the Kingdom of the age to come. As a person of prayer and a monastic, Metropolitan Laurus, even on the cathedra of a Primate, sensed himself not a bishop, but a son of the Church who was called upon as was Righteous Joseph, to preserve the purity and the safety of the Church as the Holy Bride of Christ. He did not remember in word alone the Gospel call for unity and love among the children of the Church, but he did everything possible to confirm them, so that Brothers of one blood, in the Fatherland and in the diaspora, having been divided not only by distance but by historical memory, would be “of one heart and of one soul” (Acts 4:32).
That is why the peak of his service as bishop must be the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion in 2007 between the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church, in the Fatherland and abroad.
“But the righteous, though they die early, will be at rest”(Wisdom of Solomon 4:7). Remembering today the 10th year after the blessed repose of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, we lift up his saintly name in our humble prayers at the altar of God and meekly ask that our Lord Jesus Christ, among Whom there are no dead, but all are living, would grant rest to his soul in the abodes of the righteous, and added him, as His faithful servant, “to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23).
Eternal memory to our dear Vladyka Laurus!
With love in Christ,
Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine,
Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
16 March 2018,