On December 30, 2020, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi led an online meeting of the clergy of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese. Starting the conference, His Eminence expressed hope that next summer he will be able to visit the Philippines and Vietnam to continue the work of the construction of the diocese interrupted by the pandemic: the adoption of new communities to Orthodoxy, the construction of model churches and a theological school, the resumption of dialogue with the authorities of the Philippines, including a meeting with the President of the Republic. Vladyka mentioned that he personally knew the new Russian Ambassador to the Philippines, M. Pavlov: “The ways of the Lord are inscrutable, and this is the will of God for the joint work of Church and state for a common goal.” Metropolitan Pavel also thanked Priest David Grubbs and the Department of Charity and Social Service of the diocese for their dedicated work during the pandemic. During the meeting, issues of current activities and plans for the future were discussed: preparation for priestly ordinations, translations of liturgical texts into local languages, cooperation with universities, the Bible Society and local radio stations, and other issues. In conclusion, His Eminence blessed the flock for vaccination against coronavirus and decided to hold an annual diocesan meeting online in February 2021.
By the decree of the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin No. 732 of November 23, 2020, the head of Khanty-Mansi and Philippines-Vietnamese dioceses Metropolitan Pavel was awarded a medal “For merits before Fatherland” of the II degree. The high state award was awarded “for a great contribution to the preservation and development of spiritual, moral and cultural traditions, long – term fruitful activity”.
On November 22, 2020, in Saint Petersburg, Metropolitan Pavel met with students of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese who are studying at the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy.
The Archpastor told the students about pastoral service and shared his experience.
Students asked Vladyka questions about the spiritual life of a priest, humility, repentance, and communication with parishioners, and also discussed issues related to further training of seminarians.
Dear Master and gracious Father!
I offer You my heartfelt congratulations and prayerful well-wishes on Your birthday, on my behalf and on behalf of the fullness of our flock.
From Your youth, You have dedicated Your life to the service of God and his Holy Church. Your pious parents, Archpriest Michael and mother Raisa, whom we always commemorate in prayers, brought You up in the best traditions of the Orthodox faith, which You, Your Holiness, have kept faithful throughout Your life.
And now, during all the trials that the Orthodox Christian world is destined to go through, You remain faithful to the canons of the Mother Church and its Sacred Tradition. By the Providence of God, You are entrusted with a great responsibility – to be a guiding star to the gates of Heavenly Jerusalem for the numerous flock under Your care. Your prayers, Your wise guidance, and Your relentless appeals inspire millions of the faithful to stand for the truth and not to be afraid of the challenges of the world.
On this significant day, we prayerfully wish that in all Your Pontifical labors for the glory of God, He will grant You inexhaustible spiritual strength, good and perfect health, long life, and the grace-giving divine mercy. We pray for Your health at the shrines of our diocese and ask the Lord to use His right hand to direct Your efforts to save people and help fill the world with light, love and goodness.
Asking For your Holy prayers and the Primate’s blessing,
Your Holiness’ the humble novice,
Metropolitan of Khanty-Mansi and Surgut/ Manila and Hanoi
On November, 13, in the church of St Serafim of Sarov (Makalangot, N. Cotabato), after evening prayers, parishioners found on 4 icons: the Savior, the Holy Virgin, St Joasaph of Belgorod and St Tatiana drops similar to oil. At first they thought it was water and wiped them off, but next morning drops appeared again. Not knowing anything about the miracle of myrrh-streaming icons, the parishioners realized that something wonderful was happening, and invited deacon Nicholas and priest Moses. The clergy carefully checked the icons and came to the conclusion that these drops could not have appeared randomly or from people. After that, they carefully collected the myrrh from the icons and reported the incident to Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi. Having studied the phenomenon, Vladyka said that this is ” a Miracle of God, the Lord testifies that He is with us.”
Myrrh-streaming is the appearance on an icon or Holy relics of a light oily liquid of protein composition, often emitting a fragrance. The icons themselves can even be paper, as happened in our case. Note that the temple in Makalangot is the only one in the Philippines, consecrated by Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (Metropolitan of Manila and Hanoi Pavel).
*Saint Joasaph of Belgorod (1705-1754) is one of the few saints of God whose relics and even Episcopal vestments are completely incorrupt. They are located in the Cathedral of Belgorod.
On September 11, 2020, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Singapore Joseph del Mar Yap sent a note to the Patriarchal Exarch of South East Asia, Metropolitan of Singapore and South East Asia Sergiy, expressing gratitude of the President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte for expressing earlier condolences by Metropolitan Sergiy concerning consequences of the natural disaster that befell the Philippines – the devastating typhoon Wongfong, which hit the eastern part of Samar Island in May 2020.The entire eastern part of the island was destroyed by a natural disaster, and the authorities evacuated tens of thousands of local residents
Beloved in the Lord, most Reverend archpastors, all-honorable fathers, dear brothers and sisters!
On the feast of the beheading of the Baptist John, the Church prescribes strict fasting, so that, as the Scripture says, ” we do not become accomplices of Herod’s gluttony.” If king Herod had refrained from excessive wine drinking, which inflamed his pride and other passions, then perhaps he would have come to his senses and would not have given the order to cut off the head of Saint John, whom he himself revered as a righteous man.
Unfortunately, people often commit irreparable sinful acts under the influence of alcohol, while intoxicated, they do things that they would never allow themselves to do when sober. Such actions sometimes destroy not only their lives, but also the lives of others. Discussing this, Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk warns: “a drunken man is capable of all sorts of evil, goes to all sorts of temptations”.
As a reminder of the harmful consequences of intemperance and self-indulgence, the Holy Synod of our Church has decided to celebrate Sobriety Day every year on the feast of the beheading of St. John the Baptist.
Today, many people who suffer from various types of addictions are aware of their harmfulness and seek help from Church organizations, which are already more than six hundred. It is obvious that in the fight against addiction, not only medical technologies are needed. Changing of mind is one of the most important conditions that help a suffering person overcome the inertia of sin.
Through the prayers of the Baptist John may God help us to overcome passions and, on the advice of the Apostle Paul, “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit, making melody in our hearts to the Lord” (Eph. 5, 19).
K I R I L L
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA
On September 2, 2020, a meeting of the Synod of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia was held at the Church of the life-giving Trinity in Ostankino, Moscow, under the chairmanship of the Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia, Metropolitan Sergius of Singapore and South-East Asia.
The Synod was attended by Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi and Archbishop Theophan of Korea.
The Synod members expressed their gratitude to his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church for their attention to the Orthodoxy in Asia, the development of the life of Church communities and the organizations, including the election of the vicar of the diocese of Singapore. The archpastors welcomed the newly ordained Bishop Pitirim of Jakarta, who took part in the Synod meeting at the invitation of the Patriarchal Exarch with the right of advisory vote (according to paragraph 7 of the Internal regulations on the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia).
During the meeting, a wide range of issues related to the life of the Patriarchal Exarchate were considered.
On September 1, 2020, is the feast of the Donskaya icon of the Mother of God; his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia led the divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Donskoy monastery in Moscow, followed by the ordination of Archimandrite Pitirim (Dondenko) as Bishop of Jakarta, vicar of the diocese of Singapore.
September 1 is also the Day of knowledge, new school year day. On this day, the Russian Orthodox Church performs prayers for teachers and students.
Upon arrival at the Cathedral, his Holiness Patriarch Kirill bowed to the miraculous Donskaya icon of the Mother of God, which was brought to this monastery from The state Tretyakov gallery for this holiday.
At the Liturgy among the concelebrating hierarchs were: Metropolitan of Singapore and South-East Asia Sergiy, the Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia; Metropolitan of Khanty-Mansiysk and Surgut Paul, managing the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese; Metropolitan Korsunsky Anthony, Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe; Archbishop Theophan of Korea; Archimandrite Oleg (Cherepanin), Secretary of the diocese of Thailand, rector of the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Bangkok and other hierarchs, clergy and monastics.
The choir of the Donskoy monastery (Regent — P. V. Muntyan) performed the liturgical chants.
The service was attended by: Chairman of Committee on development of civil society, public and religious associations of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Sergey Gavrilov; chargé d’affaires of the Republic of Indonesia in the Russian Federation Azis Nurvahudi; head of Department of national policy and interregional relations of the city of Moscow V. I. Suchkov; the head of the Donskoy district of Moscow D. I. Sokolov.
Among those who prayed at the Liturgy was a group of seminarians from Indonesia and the Philippines who were studying at Moscow and St. Petersburg theological schools and who, with the blessing of the Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Sergiy of Singapore and Southeast Asia, made pilgrimage trips to the churches and monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church during the holidays. The group is accompanied by an employee of the Department of external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, D. I. Petrovsky.
The Patriarchal Service was broadcast live on the Soyuz and Spas TV channels and on the official portal of the Russian Orthodox Church Патриархия.ru. For the convenience of the faithful, a large screen was installed on the Cathedral square of the Donskoy monastery, where the broadcast from the Cathedral was broadcast.
The special litany included petitions for the beginning of the school year. At the special litany, prayer petitions were also made to get rid of the spread of coronavirus infection.
After a special litany, his Holiness read a prayer for teachers and students: “O Lord, o God and our Creator, who hast honored us with Thy image, who hast taught us Thy chosen ones, as Thou hast revealed wisdom to those who listen to Thy teaching as a child; as Thou hast taught Solomon and all those who seek Thy wisdom, open the hearts, minds, and mouths of these Thy servants, so that Thou mayest enjoy the power of Thy law, and Thy will. Deliver them from every enemy, keep them in Orthodox faith, and in all piety and purity all the days of their life, so that they may succeed in understanding and in fulfilling Thy commandments; so that they may glorify Thy most Holy name, and be heirs of Thy Kingdom. Thou art the God mighty in mercy, and blessings of the fortress, and to Thee is all glory, honor and worship, to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.”
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church also offered up a prayer during the spread of the malicious plague that occurred.
The sermon before communion was delivered by hieromonk Hermogenes (Burygin), Executive Secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Department.
At the end of the Liturgy, his Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed Bishop Pitirim of Jakarta to the service and presented him with the Bishop’s baton. The newly ordained Hierarch traditionally gave the faithful the first archpastoral blessing.
Then his Holiness performed the rite of prayer singing at the beginning of the teaching of the youths. The Primate of the Russian Church read a prayer for the beginning of the new school year.
His Holiness the Patriarch also performed a glorification and prayer before the Donskaya icon of the Mother of God and bowed to the miraculous image and venerable relics of Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of all Russia.
On behalf of the inhabitants and parishioners of the Donskoy monastery, Bishop Eugene Bronnitsky congratulated his Holiness on the patronal feast of the monastery and presented his Holiness with a copy of the Donskaya icon of the Mother of God.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed the faithful with the Primate’s word.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill welcomed Bishop Eugene of Bronnitsky and presented him with a cross with the image of the Moscow saints in memory of the service.
Press service of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Today, during his working visit to Moscow, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi met with the Filippino students studying in the spiritual schools in Russia. The seminarians talked with His Eminence about their education and related issues.