July 14, 2018, under the chairmanship of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill was held in Yekaterinburg summer session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, reports patriarhiei.
Participants in the meeting adopted a letter to the archpastors, clergy, monastics and laity in connection with the 1030-th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus.
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Message of his Holiness Patriarch Kirill and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to the archpastors, clergy, monastics and laymen in connection with the 1030-th anniversary of the baptism of Rus
Blessed Be The Lord Jesus Christ,
Others love the new people, the Russian land
and enlighten th baptism of the Holy Ghost.
(Tale of bygone years)
Beloved in the Lord archpastors, Reverend presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
Now the entire Fullness of our Church honors the Holy equal to the apostles Prince Vladimir and gratefully recalls how 1030 years ago, the works of this chosen and strong-willed husband had accomplished a pivotal event in the history of the Slavic peoples. The all-auspicious influence of the Holy spirit the Duke turned from pagan delusions, and believed in the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ and by joining with his colleagues in Holy Baptism, brought to Russia the saving light of the gospel.
Why do we call the event of the baptism of Russia a turning point for the history of our peoples? Because it forever changed the image of the entire Slavic civilization and determined the future path of its development. It was a really decisive turn from darkness to light, from walking in the darkness of false ideas and views, to the attainment of revealed truth and salvation.
Merciful and Generous Lord has given us incomparable grace and the greatest happiness: to be able to belong to the Orthodox Church to be one Body of Christ, and to experience the inexhaustible fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn. 4:14). So, we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God, being built upon the Foundation of apostles and prophets and with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:19-20).
We know quite a bit about the life of Russia before the Baptism. The extant historical evidence has kept a rather controversial image of our ancestors as people, on the one hand, cruel and treacherous, with other brave and generous. Following the laws of blood revenge, the Slavs, however, had a special hospitality and generosity. During the same trips the peaceful Slav became a formidable and ruthless warrior: his rage knew no bounds, and for rich booty, he was ready for anything.
The Slavic world stood at the crossroads between good and evil, showing the noble qualities of the soul, that terrible abyss of darkness. Required a decisive and firm step to make, finally, that fateful choice. And this choice makes the Holy equal to the apostles Prince Vladimir. The Orthodox faith is rooted in the life of the ancestors of the great works of the Prince, transformed our nation, instilled in him the spirit of selflessness and humility, sacrifice and patience.
Over the centuries that followed the baptism in the blessed waters of the Dnieper, Russia tried to build their existence on the basis of high Christian ideals and fidelity to the gospel, sought to build his life to what philosopher Ivan Ilyin was called “kissing the cross”, that is hot love to the Lord and reverence Them perfect Atoning Sacrifice. In spite of the complex vicissitudes of history, despite all the mistakes, evasion and falls, the main thing for our people has always been the Ministry of divine truth and standing in truth.
An introduction to Orthodox spirituality has become a powerful impetus for the development of a distinctive Slavic culture. Religious choice of Prince Vladimir were, besides, plenty of way of thinking, the Christian way of public life and style culture. It was a choice path of civilization. Now we can’t imagine our literature, fine arts, architecture or music without the gospel of motifs and themes. Imbued with Christian moral ideals and values, these works introduce us to the rich spiritual world of the Orthodox faith and encouraged to reflect on the eternal questions of life and the meaning of human life.
But not belonging to the Orthodox culture only by birth that makes us Christians. To be an Orthodox Christian is not a tribute to the tradition of “the love for fathers ‘coffins” and national history. To be an Orthodox Christian is first and foremost a conscious choice of life, is continually seeking Christ and His truth. Like Prince Vladimir, having put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new self (Col. 3:9-10), forever gave his heart to the Lord Jesus that we are remembering what we of the spirit (LK. 9:55), are not to be hearers only, but doers of the word (Jas. 1:22), it is realizing that our life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).
The search for the truth of Christ and standing for it — that’s the main Covenant of the Holy Prince Vladimir the peoples of Holy Rus’, the heirs of the Dnieper font. All of our shared history and culture, all spiritual and centuries-old Church tradition of our peoples is related to the knowledge of this truth. It is at the core of our being and consciousness, it unites all of us, gives us strength to follow the path of historical development, overcoming any adversity, distress and strife.
And now in fraternal Ukraine, a country where the Dnieper is the sacred font of baptism of the peoples of Russia, the elements of this world rise up in the Church of the Holy Prince Vladimir, trying to destroy the unity of this Holy Church. The clergy and faithful are subjected to unfair accusations and vilification. But we believe that no pressure from the outside will not be able to destroy the sacred bonds of Christ’s love that unites us in one Body of the Church. We believe that our common prayer will help to overcome all the trials, to preserve the purity of the Orthodox faith and loyalty to the canonical truth.
Edinimi mouth and one heart praising God for His unutterable mercy to us, may we be worthy of this richly pours out the love of God and the great spiritual offering, which was made equal to the apostles Prince Vladimir his people.
Prayers of this wondrous man of the Lord bless the Lord heaven countries of historical Rus ‘ world, and strengthen pastors and believers of Ukraine, bravely faithful to the canonical Church and gives His unfailing assistance in the way of salvation, that we, not consistent with the age of a SIM, but transformed by the renewing of our minds (ROM. 12: 2), committed his Ministry to God and people, testifying to the permanent beauty and creative power of faith in Christ.