International Orthodox Christian News

His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr of Ukraine on Patriarch Alexy II

A Word on the book "Life Journey of the Patriarch", prepared for publication in February, 2009, the 80th birthday anniversary of the Patriarch

In the difficult periods of the Church history the Lord providentially chose as her Primates the people who are capable of leading the bark of the Church without encumbrance through the waves of the sea of life.

The Lord chose His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II as Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in a difficult historical period. It was a critical period in the history of the Church - the end of God-fighting, perestroika, breakdown of the Soviet Union, revival of the Uniate movement, emergence of schisms and energetic activity of various sects and non-religious movements.

At the same time it was a blissful period for the Church, when, having freed herself from the atheist imprisonment, she started to revive spiritually. Thousands of the new churches and monasteries were opened, the Orthodox communities organised. The Church received the possibility to preach openly, to do the deeds of mercy and social service. .

In such circumstances a heavy cross devolved upon the shoulders of the First Hierarch - the responsibility to channelize the processes, developing in the Church, to be directed in the right spiritual canonical course. And His Holiness Patriarch Alexy copes with this task with dignity, with assistance of the God's All-mighty hand. In the period of his tenure the Russian Orthodox Church has significantly grown quantitatively and qualitatively. As it was throughout the period of its more than 1020-years' history it continues keeping the Holy Orthodox faith intact. The personal qualities of His Holiness facilitate this task to a high extent - these are strictness and exactingness combined with kindness and love, high encyclopedism and a gift of eloquence, ability to build kind relations with the high and mighties for the benefit of the Church, care and concern of the flock. All these qualities have won him love and respect both of the episcopate, clergy and believers of the Russian Orthodox Church, and of the social and political leaders as well. His Holiness enjoys high authority of the Universal Orthodoxy and all over the Christian world.

His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow Alexy II visited the Ukrainian Orthodox Church several times throughout his patriarchal tenure - in 1990, 1997 and 2008.
In 1990 His Holiness the Patriarch brought to Ukraine the Tomos on granting self-governance to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, he also officiated the Divine Liturgy in St. Sophia Cathedral and visited the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and Pochaev Lavra.

In 1997 together with the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Georgia the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church took part in the symposium "Science, religion and ecology", dedicated to the problems of the Black Sea region.

In 2008 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church met His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia at the festivities dedicated to the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus by the Holy and Equal to the Apostles Prince Vladimir. The divine services performed at the hill of St, Vladimir and in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra gathered thousands of believers, who came to pray with their First Hierarch, it was the visible token of unity of the Holy Orthodoxy; of the unity for preservation and restoration of which His Holiness the Patriarch and the Orthodox people of Ukraine pray for.

His Holiness the Patriarch Alexy II will enter the history of the Russian Orthodox Church as a symbol if her gathering and spiritual revival. We pray to All-merciful God for strengthening of the spiritual and bodily force of His Holiness for the blessed labour for the God's glory, for the benefit of His Holy Church and the faithful people.


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