Dear in the Lord Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
With profound spiritual joy, I greet the clergymen and parishioners of Elevation of the Holy Cross Cathedral in Geneva and the churches of the Western European Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the bright holiday of Holy Pascha of Christ, the grace-filled time of worship, song and the renewal of our strength, of all the paths of our activity.
This holy time proclaims the absolution of sins, illumination and the inheritance of the Heavans: God is in all His power and Glory on Earth, and man, thanks to the podvig of the Savior, is in Heavan; all are united. Truly, “This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
Thank God, we who experience various sorrows and temptations in church life, gain strength in the joy of the Risen Christ, we draw energy in the examples of patience from certain archpastors whom we celebrate in particular this year: Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev, Archbishop Andronik of Perm, the Righteous Royal Passion-Bearers, who met their martyric death 100 years ago.
We remember with love and trepidation the hand of the first of the Hieromartyrs of Russia, making the sign of the cross in blessing his executioners. We recall the correspondence, the journals and behavior of the Royal Passion-bearers before their martyrdom, amazed at their profound faith, their patient, accepting and calm endurance of their sorrows and sufferings. They gained these gifts from responding to the humility, meekness, sufferings and death of Christ the Life-giver, risen on the third day. As we immerse ourselves in holy scripture, the life and sufferings of our martyrs who joined the victory of Christ, we find within ourselves the strength to emulate them in the circumstances of our own lives.
So as we rejoice of the Risen Christ and prayerfully remembering the 100th anniversary of the tragic events in our Homeland, let us open our hearts, and, as the Paschal canon says “purify our senses” with works of mercy, all-forgiveness and love which make man capable of receiving the mercies of God, and the joy and blessed gifts of Pascha. In this way we will express our love for the Church, for our cathedral and our entire diocese.
Once again I congratulate you all on this greatest of holidays, fervently wishing everyone spiritual peace, good health and the perpetual experiencing of the joy of this great, bright feast of salvation!
With love in the Lord,
Pascha of the Lord 2018.