“…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