“…When the fullness of time came,
God sent His (Only Begotten) Son,
Who was born of a woman, obeyed the law
in order to redeem those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption.”
(Gal. 4.:4-5)

Beloved fathers, brothers and sisters in Christ! I cordially greet you with a great and joyful celebration — the feast of the Nativity of Christ! The Nativity of Christ was an event that confirmed the inviolability of God’s promises, but also a testimony of God’s incomparable trust in people. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). More than two thousand years separate us from that holy night when the angels sang: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, good will among men.” During this time, much has changed in human life, but one eternal truth remains – the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now each of us hears the angelic voice again: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will among men” (Luke 2:14). As we enter the new year 2023 and reflect on what it will be, let us offer our prayers for fraternal unity and mutual understanding, for patience and mutual respect in society, for peace between peoples. In our turbulent days, when the Gospel precepts of patience, humility and brotherly love sound so shrill, we are witnessing fraternal internecine strife, cruel persecution of Christians, all kinds of political passions and social disagreements. The heart of every man shudders at the thought of these great calamities. Involuntarily, at the sight of all this, we wonder: Is this how the world should honor its God, Creator and Savior? Therefore, celebrating this sacred event, let us unite these days in the temple, let us leave, at least for a while, our earthly worries and sorrows, bring the Holy Child a fervent faith, saving hope and fill our lives with Christian virtues. I would like to thank the clergy and laity from the bottom of my heart for their hard work for the glory of God, for the benefit of the Holy Church and the Orthodox people. I believe that the Lord will help us pass all the tests and grant us a prosperous and peaceful life. I sincerely hope that in the coming year the Lord will deign us to meet and share the joy of joint Divine Services together. When we celebrate the holy day of the Nativity of Christ with great joy, we often call it the light-bearing one, as the words of the festive prayer hymns teach us. Truly, the whole world shone with the unearthly light of the star of Bethlehem. This star not only brought the wise men from the east to worship the incarnate Son of God together with the shepherds, but since then, for more than two thousand years, it has been lighting the way for millions of believers. After all, the words of the Angel are addressed to us: “I declare to you great joy, which will be to all people: for today the Savior has been born to you in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). Let this bright holiday fill our souls with joy and move us to deeds of faith and love, lifting our minds and hearts to Heaven. For from there the joyful angelic singing is heard: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will among men” (Luke 2:14).

With love for Christ Who is born,

By the Grace of God,



CHRISTMAS 2022/2023. Manila

Metropolitan Pavel met with the Ambassador of the Philippines to Russia

On December 23, 2022, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi met with Igor G. Bailen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the Russian Federation. The meeting was attended by: On the part of the Embassy of the Philippines — Deputy Head of Mission Robert O. Ferrer, Vice Consul Catherine Alpay. On the part of the Khanty-Mansi Diocese — Secretary of the Khanty-Mansi Diocese Abbot Anthony (Kirpichev). During the conversation, the parties discussed the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Philippine land and further cooperation

Blessing for podryasnik

Students from Indonesia and the Philippines studying at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy received a blessing to wear a podryasnik (cassock).

On December 9, on the eve of the day the Icon of the Mother of God “Tsarskoye Selo”, All-Night Vigil was held in the church of the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. Before the beginning of the service, the rector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, Bishop Siluan of Peterhof blessed the students of the 1st year of bachelor’s degree to wear podryasnik (clerical under-vestment). Among the first-year students there are also students of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Consecration of the foundation stone on Tubabao island

On December 1, events dedicated to the beginning of the construction of the church in honor of St. John of Shanghai were held on Tubabao Island. With the blessing of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), performed the rite of consecration of the foundation stone in the concelebration of the clergy of the diocese, Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), priests Moses Kahilig and Ambrose Sumagaysay.
Then, in the center of the island, at the monument in honor of the Russian-Philippine friendship, a ceremony was held to raise state flags and lay a wreath in memory of the Russian refugees who found refuge on the island.
The events were attended by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Philippines Marat Pavlov and his wife, Senior Consul Yaroslav Pavlov, 1st Secretary of the Embassy Nikolai Ovsyannikov, Mayor of the municipality of Guiuan Annalisa Gonzalez Kwan, Vice-Mayor Veronica Kabakaba-Ramirez and employees of the Mayor’s office, President of the organization “Philippine Combat Systems – Russia” Alexander Pisarkin and Adviser Anton Seredkin, residents and guests of Tubabao Island.
In 1949-1951, six thousand Russian refugees from among those who emigrated from Russia to Shanghai after the Civil War found temporary shelter on this island. The spiritual leader of the community was St. John of Shanghai. Filipinos gave a warm welcome and support to the refugees and Russians have made a great cultural contribution to the life of the local people who still honor their memory. In her welcoming speech, Mayor Annalisa G. Kwan, in particular, said that she was taught ballet by a disciple of a Russian emigrant.
Saint John of Shanghai is also very revered by the locals, because miracles happen through prayers to him. In particular, people miraculously escaped during typhoons, and even typhoons themselves often bypassed the island, as it was in 1949-1951. The same miracle happened in Manila on Sunday, November 1, 2020, when the strongest super typhoon Goni, which was approaching Metro Manila, suddenly lost its strength and went south from the city immediately after the prayer service to St. John at the Iveron Parish in Manila ( ).

Metropolitan Pavel awarded the honorary title

On November 24, 2022, by a resolution of the Duma of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District – Yugra, at the suggestion of the Governor of the District N.V. Komarova, the title “Honorary Citizen of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District – Yugra” was awarded to the Head of the Philippines and Vietnamese diocese metropolitan Pavel, “for active public and charitable activities, significant contribution to the preservation and development of Orthodox culture and strengthening spiritual and moral traditions in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug – Yugra”.  

Christmas readings

On November 16, 2022, with the blessing of His Eminence Pavel, the Metropolitan of Manila and Hanoi, the Philippines and Vietnamese diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church conducted seminar for the clergy on “Christmas Readings” in Makalangot, Arakan. The seminar was organized by the secretary of the diocese — hieromonk Kornily (Molev) and priest George Maximov, PhD in Theology, invited to be the guest speaker.

The seminar was held after the Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of Saint Seraphim of Sarov in Makalangot which was celebrated by: hieromonk Kornily (Molev), priests George Maximov, Moses Cahilig, Romanus Buniel, Joachim Gonzales, Nicholas Salgado, Ambrose Sumagaysay, deacons Matthew Sale, and Alexey Bergado.

The book of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi

The book of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi “RUSSIAN Golgotha” was published in the publishing house “Siberian Blagozvonnitsa”.

This book is about the terrible events in our history – about repressions, about the innocently murdered, about how this bitter memory is kept in Ugra.

The author of the book was prompted to take up the pen by the unacceptable oblivion of the holy memory of the innocently injured and murdered in the Yugra Region, who are currently rehabilitated. Only in the district capital, in the city of Khanty–Mansiysk, about 600 such people were shot.

Khanty-Mansi autonomous region — Yugra is a special territory of Russia. Its establishment coincided with the great extradition to exiles of hundreds of thousands of people who were considered as not loyal and were forced to leave their native places for unfamiliar harsh lands. The 1930s were a terrible time in the history of our Russia. In the literature, it is called the period of genocide of its own people and the years of terror, which became state policy.

From 1930 to 1933, 32,208 people were exiled to the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, and in 1937 there were already 158,708 special settlers living here. These figures alone help to understand the anti-national essence of the totalitarian state machine and the incredible hardships of the people’s life.

The book contains both well-known and unique information about the times of political repression in Russia and Yugra, with an assessment of this period.

We must remember our history, and especially its tragic pages, no matter how bitter this memory may be. Remember and also teach our younger generation.

Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

On October 14, on the feast of Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, at the parish of Christ the Saviour in Tagaytay, the Divine Liturgy was served by the Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), in the concelebration of the dean of the Manila District, Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin) and the rector of the parish of Christ the Saviour, Priest David Grubbs. The service was attended by the Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov and the cleric of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, Priest Methodius Rafanan. In honor of the holiday, on behalf of the ruling bishop, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, Hieromonk Korniliy presented the Ambassador with an icon of St. Alexander Nevsky, the patron saint of diplomats.

Беседа секретаря Филиппинско-Вьетнамской епархии в МДА

Секретарь Филиппинско-Вьетнамской епархии выступил с докладом на курсе повышения квалификации преподавателей миссиологии.

В Московской духовной академии с 4-6 октября проходит курс повышения квалификации преподавателей дисциплины “Миссиология” в духовных учебных заведениях Русской Православной Церкви. Организаторами программы выступили: Синодальный миссионерский отдел, Учебный комитет Русской Православной Церкви, Московская духовная академия. В курсе участвуют представители миссионерских отделов епархий. Центральной темой курсов стало содержание дисциплины “Миссиология” с точки зрения миссионерских вызовов современности, методические вопросы преподавания. В ходе второго дня курсов были заслушаны доклады по вопросам апологетической и внешней миссии. С докладом «Миссия на Филиппинах» выступил иеромонах Корнилий (Молев), секретарь Филиппинско-Вьетнамской епархии. Отец Корнилий рассказал об истории возникновения православной миссии на Филиппинах и особенности миссионерского поля: «Филиппинцы очень религиозны, но сильна языческая составляющая, в частности т.н. «хилеры» (целители), к которым обращаются местные жители, так как платная медицина для большинства местных жителей недоступна. Особенности миссии на Филиппинах в том, что местные жители сами узнают о Православии из книг, через Интернет и просят о крещении. На Филиппинах живут еще люди, которые помнят или учились у русских беженцев, в числе которых был святитель Иоанн (Максимович), которые нашли свое временное прибежище в этой стране и построили несколько церквей».