Metropolitan Pavel will visit Philippines and Vietnam

From February 11 to March 4, 2024, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the administrator of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, will pay an archpastoral visit to the republics of the Philippines and Vietnam. As part of the archpastoral visit, visits to parishes in different provinces of the Republic of the Philippines are planned. Metropolitan Pavel will visit a number of Orthodox communities on the island of Mindanao, where he will perform divine services and ordinations of clerics of the Philippine–Vietnamese diocese. Metropolitan Pavel will visit the parish of the Resurrection of Christ in General Santos, perform a prayer service in Lambayon at the parish of St. Ignatius the God-Bearer and will lead the all-night vigil at the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Lake Cebu settlement. On February 15, on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Metropolitan Pavel will celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos in Polomolok. At the end of the Liturgy, a Diocesan meeting of the clergy and laity of the Philippine–Vietnamese Diocese will take place. On this day, an inspection of the churches in Kinabalan, Banate, Santa Maria and Talas are planned. On February 18, the diocesan governor will head the Divine Liturgy in Davao City. On February 19, His Eminence will visit the church under construction in honor of the icon of the Theotokos “Quick to Hear” on the island of Panglao, where he will perform a prayer service. On February 24, the archpastor will lead an all-night vigil at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Tagaytay. On February 25, on the patronal feast day, Metropolitan Pavel will celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines. On February 26, His Eminence will visit the church in honor of the Exaltation of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord in Siniloan, Laguna and perform a prayer service. As part of the archpastoral trip to the Republic of the Philippines, the Administrator of the Philippine—Vietnamese Diocese will also hold working meetings with representatives of the state authorities of the cities of the republic and representatives of the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation.

The archpastoral visit to Vietnam will begin on February 27 and last until March 4. During the visit, meetings with the parishioners of Nha Trang and a prayer service in Vung Tau are planned. On March 2 and 3, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi will celebrate Divine Liturgies in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Also in Hanoi, Bishop Pavel plans to meet with the Russian Ambassador to Vietnam and members of the Committee on Religious Affairs of the Republic of Vietnam.

15th anniversary of enthronement

The bishops of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia concelebrated with Patriarch Kirill at the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on the fifteenth anniversary of the enthronement of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On February 1, 2024, the Russian Orthodox Church prayerfully celebrated the 15th anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Prayers were offered in all churches and monasteries for the Primate of the Church, who was elected to the Moscow Patriarchal Throne at the 2009 Council. On this day, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. His Holiness was co-served by bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, including: Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Sergius of Singapore and Southeast Asia; Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi; Archbishop Theophan of Korea; Bishop Pitirim of Jakarta, Vicar of the Diocese of Singapore. Among the co-servants were also clerics of the Singapore Diocese of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia, serving in the Republic of Indonesia, Hieromonk Methodius (Sugiarto) and Priest Dorotheus Gunawan. At the end of the service, the Primate of the Russian Church addressed the participants of the divine service with the Primatial word. Afterwards, a reception was held on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness.

Archpastoral visit to the Philippines

Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi will visit the Philippines on February 12-26. Schedule of services:

Tuesday, February 13, 2024, st. Nikita the recluse. Prayer service in the church in honor of the Resurrection of Christ in General Santos.

Wednesday, February 14, 2023. The pre-feast of the Presentation of the Lord. All-night vigil at the church in honor of the Resurrection of Christ in Lake Cebu.

Thursday, February 15, 2024. Presentation of the Lord. Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos of Polomolok. The Diocesan Assembly of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese.

Saturday, February 17, 2023. St Isidore. All-night vigil in the church in honor of the Blessed Matrona of Moscow, Davao.

Sunday, February 18, 2024. Zacchaeus Sunday. Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of the Blessed Matrona of Moscow, Davao city.

February 24, 2024, Saturday, St. Dimitri Prilutsky. All-night vigil in the church in honor of the Nativity of Christ in Tagaytay.

Sunday, February 25, 2024. Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Manila.

Metropolitan Pavel is awarded Literary prize

Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi was awarded the main prize of the International Slavic Literary Forum “Golden Knight”

On January 22, 2024, as part of the XXXII International Christmas Educational Readings, a round table “The Cultural Front of Russia and the space of the Russian literary word” was held under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk. The event was co-chaired by the President of the International Slavic Arts Forum “Golden Knight”, Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for the Development of Civil Society, issues of public and religious associations N.P. Burlyaev. The event was attended by: Metropolitan Pavel of Khanty-Mansiysk and Surgut, administrator of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese; Director of the International Slavic Literary Forum “Golden Knight” A.V. Orlov; laureates of the Patriarchal Literary Prize V.N. Khairyuzov, K.P. Kovalev-Sluchevsky and V.Y. Malyagin; editor-in-chief of the magazine “Moscow” V.V. Artemov; the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Day and Night” M.O. Savvinykh (Krasnoyarsk); deputy editor-in-chief of the literary and artistic magazine “Rise” V.D. Lyutyj (Voronezh); The president of the Literary Fund “The Road of Life”, nominee of the Patriarchal Literary Prize D.A. Mizgulin (St. Petersburg); Chairman of the Poetry Council of the Union of Writers of Russia V.F. Kiryushin, as well as employees of the Publishing Council Hieromonk Makariy (Komogorov), priest Zachary Saveliev and others. Before the discussion, the Chairman of the Publishing Council presented Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi with a diploma of the winner of the Enlightenment through the Book competition for his work “Russian Golgotha: Political Repression in Ugra”, and N.P. Burlyaev with a Golden Knight statuette for a book about the life of Archbishop Antonin (Pokrovsky) of Washington and Alaska.

Happy Day of Angel!

Congratulations from the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese.

Your Eminence! Dear Vladyka!

We congratulate you on the Day of the Heavenly Patron Saint — St. Pavel of Komel!

By God’s Providence, several large dioceses in different countries of the world are under your control at the same time, and you find time for everyone, without forgetting anyone! Despite your love of solitary prayer, you never refuse spiritual comfort and guidance. Imitating St. Paul of Komel, you pay special attention to the works of mercy to the poor and the suffering, and by word and deed teaching this to your flock.

And today, turning to the intercession of St. Paul, we especially ask the Lord to grant you strength in carrying out difficult obediences, cheerfulness of spirit, true joy in Christ and many and good summers!

With love and prayer,

clergy and flock of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese.

Congratulations on the Day of Angel

Congratulations to Metropolitan Pavel on the Day of the Angel.

Your Eminence! Dear Vladyka!

The staff of the diocesan administration, the clergy and parishioners of the churches of the Khanty-Mansiysk Metropolia congratulate you on the day of your heavenly patron, the Venerable Pavel Obnorsky, the Miracleworker of Komel! It is gratifying to see that the Yugra land under your administration is being decorated with new temples and monasteries. All these are the fruits of your tireless labors, prayers and reflections on the welfare of the church at the Khanty-Mansiysk See entrusted to you by God! You are carrying out God-given high archpastoral service for the benefit of the Church in the Yugra land, giving all your bodily and mental strength for this. You guide the flock entrusted to you by the Lord on the right path, taking care of the beauty and splendor of the parishes, edifying and helping all those working in the field of the Church with fatherly love. On the day of your Angel, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you God’s help in your archpastoral ministry, good health, and inexhaustible energy, which may the Lord grant you through the prayers of St. Pavel! Many happy years to you!

Congratulations on birthday

Congratulations from Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Sergiy of Singapore and Southeast Asia to Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi on his birthday.

Your Eminence, dear Vladyka! Kindly accept my sincere congratulations on your birthday. For many years you have been diligently and reverently serving God and His Holy Church, trying to set a good example to clergy and laity, to be attentive, responsive and sensitive towards them. Taking care of the spiritual growth of the children entrusted to you, you encourage them to watch over themselves so that they do not lose what they have worked for, but receive full reward (2 John 1, 8). I prayerfully wish you strength of mind and body, joy in the Lord and His generous help in further archpastoral labors. 

With love in Christ,

SERGIY, Metropolitan of Singapore and Southeast Asia, Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia

Christmas Message of Metropolitan Pavel

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE from METROPOLITAN PAVEL OF MANILA AND HANOI.

TO THE GOD-LOVING FLOCK OF THE PHILIPPINE – VIETNAMESE DIOCESE.

“We magnify You, O Life-giver Christ, Who for our sake is now born in the flesh.”

Beloved pastors of the Lord, dear brothers and sisters! Another year has passed, and we are once again entering into the joy of the Christmas holiday. On the same days, we celebrate the New Year, according to custom, summing up the results of the year that has passed and thinking about the future. The Holy Church now calls us to spiritual rejoicing, remembering that great and unforgettable day when “The Great mystery of piety was realized: God appeared in the flesh” (1 Tim.3:16). St. Gregory the Theologian, in a sermon on this holiday, showing its greatness, exclaims: “I will proclaim the power of the day. The Bodiless incarnates, the Word solidifies, the Invisible becomes visible, the Intangible is touchable. The Son of God becomes the son of man.” (St. Gregory the Theologian. Creations. part 1, p. 522). The feast of the Nativity of Christ contains everything that can animate us and give us hope, but at the same time it contains everything that can awaken the careless and frighten the unworthy. Today, no one can justify himself by ignorance of God and salvation through Jesus Christ. It is not the first time that we have heard the angelic gospel that “the Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born in the city of David” (Luke 2:11), and it is not the first year that we celebrate Christmas, and we already know the meaning of this Holy Day. And here the question arises: What does this holiday bring to our lives? Or, how do we perceive it, are we changing in our lives for the better, refraining from evil and eradicating sinful habits from our lives? Dear fathers, brothers and sisters, our life has an endless opposition: evil to good, darkness to light, sin to virtue… Our high and sacred duty as Orthodox Christians is to resist evil with good in every possible way. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” the Apostle Paul urges (Romans 12:21). A religious view of life helps to draw the right conclusions from everything that happens to us. And “the fruit of spirit”, according to the Apostle Paul, is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, mercy, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23). Do we perform these virtues in our lives? On the contrary, evil deeds, called by the same apostle the works of the flesh, literally overwhelm our society. “They are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, magic, enmity, quarrels, envy, anger, strife, disagreements, (temptations,) heresies, hatred, murders, drunkenness, outrages and so on” (Gal. 5, 19-21). A nation in which such vices flourish cannot become a welfare society. Our sorrows and our disorder are the natural result of the evil that we commit, convincing evidence of the inevitability of the consequences of violation of the moral law by man. By the grace of God, we now see that more people are beginning to see the connection that exists between the moral crisis of the individual and the tragic consequences in society. More people are turning their hearts and minds to God, seeking to find the support of their lives in Him. And if there is a spiritual rebirth of our people, then, undoubtedly, the society will be reborn in all its spiritual beauty and strength.Dear fathers, brothers and sisters! I wholeheartedly thank the clergy and laity of the Philippine–Vietnamese Diocese for their hard work for the glory of God, for the benefit of the Holy Mother Church. I believe that the Lord will help us to pass all the trials that have fallen on our time and grant us a prosperous and peaceful life. As we enter the New Year 2024, let us offer our prayers to the Lord for fraternal unity and mutual understanding, for patience and mutual respect in society, and for peace between peoples. “Your Nativity, O Christ our God, raised up the light of knowledge in the world…”, we sing in the tropar of the holiday. Indeed, the feast of Christmas is a feast of knowledge, for in Christ we are clothed with knowledge and learn the way to true happiness. In these joyful Christmas days, we sincerely wish each other to find the light of knowledge that Christ the Savior, born in Bethlehem, brought to us, so that this light illuminates the path of life ahead of us. Happy great holiday, congratulations to all of you, my dear!

By the Grace of God,

METROPOLITAN OF MANILA AND HANOI

CHRISTMAS 2023/2024.

Christmas Message of Exarch

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE from metropolitan of Singapore and South-East-Asia SERGIY to the archpastors, clergy, monastics and the entire flock of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia.

Reverend hierarchs, all-honourable fathers, beloved brothers and sisters! I extend to all of you my heartfelt felicitations on the great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ! On these days of celebration, we look at the icon of Christmas with joy and warm affection, beholding the incarnate Saviour, the Most Pure Mother holding the Divine Infant in tender embrace, and the Righteous Joseph bending over them in loving care. The Holy Family is the model of true and sacrificial love, genuine mutual care and complete trust in the Maker. Time and again, Christmas reminds us about the great importance of family values in today’s world, for it is in them that serve as the basis of life in our society. The Young Jesus grew in faith, love and diligence. Remembrance thereof makes us aware that it is parents’ duty to give moral upbringing to their children, to be their first teachers in prayer, faith and kindness towards others. It is not only on Christmas that God comes into our life, so we should be ready to meet Him at any moment. It is up to us how we receive the Lord and what it is that He finds in us – a cattle shed, coldness and spiritual poverty or the heart full of goodness, warmth and light, capable of becoming a worthy dwelling place for God. Let us make haste to meet the Saviour with pure eyes and deeds, most joyfully worshipping His advent in the flesh (Sunday Before the Nativity of Christ, Great Vespers). On this radiant feast, I wish all of you good health and peace, as well as spiritual joy, patience, and success in your work. May Christ, Who is born in the cave, grant unto you His help in all days of your life, filling your hearts with love and blessing your good deeds.

Metropolitan of Singapore and South-East-Asia, Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia

Nativity of Christ 2024

Christmas Message of Patriarch Kirill

to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monastics
and All Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church

Beloved in the Lord archpastors, all-honourable presbyters and deacons,
God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters,

The unutterable love of God has gathered us today so that in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3) we may celebrate one of the most solemn and at the same time mysterious feasts of the Church – the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Glorifying our Saviour’s coming into the world, I extend my heartfelt congratulatios to all of you, my beloved, on the joyful event which opened a new era in the relationship between God and humanity.

Looking back at that moment two thousand years ago, we every time strive to fathom the great miracle of the Divine Incarnation, and our Creator’s loving-kindness and mercy never fails to amaze us. For many centuries, humanity had been living in tense expectation, awaiting the Peacemaker (cf. Gen 49:10) promised by the Lord, which is to say a King… just and having salvation (Zech 9:9), in Whose name nations will hope (Is 42:4). Thus, in the fullness of time unto us a Child was born (Is 9:6) that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). The love of God which passes knowledge (Eph 3:19) sent into the world not an ambassador or an angel, or the strong and mighty ruler tha people had been expecting, but God Himself Who took flesh in order to deliver humankind from the bondage of sin and evil.

It is astounding that the greatest milestone event in human history, heralded by the Old Testament prophets and foreknown by prominent thinkers of antiquity, came to pass so quietly, seemingly unnoticeable. Bethlehem lay sleeping. Jerusalem lay sleeping. The whole of Judaea lay sleeping. Neither to the powerful sound of the trumpet (Ps 150:3), nor to worldwide jubilation, but humbly and meekly did the Almighty Lord – the King of kings and the Lord and Creator of all things – reveal Himself to the world in the nightly silence of a poor cave, glorified by the angelic hosts and a small number of shepherds who came to see this thing that has come to pass (Lk 2:15).

It is as if at the very start of His earthly journey the Lord desires total humiliation [to become] the measure of His Goodness, St John Chrysostom writes. Only love which is perfect can act with such nobleness, for it does not seek its own (1 Cor 13:4-5), nor does it parade itself or demand honour and glory. Perfect love endures all things, every hardship and affliction for the sake of others. For this He assumed my body, John Chrysostom continues, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life (The Nativity Sermon). God’s abundant love for us was revealed in that we received the true treasure of Life – the Lord Himself, for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Rom 11:36).

Love is the real reason and driving force behind God’s actions. He brought the world into being and created the human person, giving him gifts in plenty. And out of love He came to save the human person when he had fallen away from communion with his Maker. Our Creator ordained that the purpose of our life is to love one another (Jn 13:34). But how can we achieve this when the world around us is so full of evil and hatred? To do so, we need to open our heart and offer it to God. He alone can transform it and make our heart, weak and constrained as it is, capable of embracing all those who are near or far off, all those who do us good or wrong. We are called to love them all, as Christ’s commandment teaches us, and be perfect, just as our Father in heaven is perfect (Mt 5:48).

As we kneel in prayer before the Newborn Divine Infant, let us ponder on what gifts we can offer to the Lord and Creator of all things. Is there anything worthy of and commensurate with the greatness of the Pre-Eternal Maker? Yes, there is such a precious gift which is most desirable in God’s eyes – it is our humble, loving and merciful heart. So let us magnify the Incarnate Christ not only with beautiful hymns and words of congratulation but above all with our good works. Let us share the radiant Christmas joy with those in need, comfort our neighbours by our loving care, visit the sick and afflicted. Let us console and support people who have lost heart and shield with our prayer all those in turmoil and grief.

By its great salvific power love heals all indifference and malice, heals enmity and grievance. It assuages the hard-hearted and makes straight the many things that have gone awry in social relations. By doing so we will indeed fulfil our lofty vocation as Christians, for in effusion of love we resemble God (Isaac of Nineveh, Mystic Treatises, Chapter 74).

The mystery of the Divine Incarnation is the mystery of God’s real presence in the world. The Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian bears the following witness to the life of the world to come when the Lord abides forever with humankind: He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God (Rev 21:3). However, the ineffable mystery of the Divine presence is revealed here, on earth, for with the Nativity of the Saviour the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand (Mk 1:15). We become a visible part of this reality, making up the One Holy Church of Christ, through which we all, my beloved, serve as messengers and envoys of this Higher Kingdom of love. In some mysterious and profound way, we experience that God is with us, and this experience constitutes the very essence of the hidden mystical life of the Church.

Let us always remember that inasmuch as the Almighty God Himself – the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last (Rev 22:13) – embraced the history of humanity and promised to be with us even unto the end of the world (Mt 28:20), we have nothing to fear eve though we live in anxious times. In responding to the great love of our Saviour, let us learn to entrust our whole self to the Lord and His good Providence, so that unto the second glorious coming of Christ we may bear bold and joyful witness even to those from far countries (Is 8:9) that

God is with us!

+KIRILL
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUS’

Christmas
2023/2024
Moscow