Dear brothers and sisters!
Wholeheartedly, I congratulate all of you on the great feast of the Meeting of the Lord, on which, according to the tradition that has developed in our Church, we also celebrate the Day of Orthodox Youth. Today we remember a significant event, which has not only historical, but also great spiritual significance. On the one hand, a symbolic meeting of the Old and New Testaments takes place in the person of the righteous elder Simeon and the Divine Infant Jesus. On the other hand, this is a meeting of a man with God.
Meeting God takes a very special place in our life. Together with faith, we acquire the true meaning of being and a solid moral foundation, and when we strive to actively embody the Gospel words in our daily exploits, the Lord grants us spiritual vision and the ability to look at many things with reasoning. These valuable qualities, as we can see, are in great demand today, because it is sometimes extremely difficult to understand the flow of information. How difficult it can be to resist attempts by malicious forces to drag us into reckless adventures, dubious and even dangerous enterprises.
Spiritual vision is not at all the lot of the gray-haired elders, as it might seem at first glance. You probably remember well from the history lessons about the heroic deeds of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevskiy, whom the Russian Orthodox Church venerates as a saint. I would like to remind you that at the age of 19 he already won the Crusaders on the Neva, and he defeated the Livonian knights on the ice of Chudskoe Lake, before reaching the age of 21. Despite his youth, he was endowed by God with amazing wisdom and spiritual strength, as well as a deep understanding of what is beneficial for the country and people. This year we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the birth of the blessed prince. In commemoration of the church and state celebrations timed to this date, I am glad to declare this jubilee year «The Year of Alexander Nevsky». May the life feat of this wonderful Russian saint inspire you to serve as an example to follow, and to help someone to meet God and join the rich spiritual treasury of Orthodox culture.
Calling the blessing of Christ upon all of you.