Greetings From Bishop Flavian

To: Exarchate Clergy, Faithful and friends
May God bless you.
In order to encourage all of you, I am sending to you this beautiful message that we received for the Feast of the Monastery from Bishop Flavian in Romania. It is truly a witness to the wonderful closeness that we have with our Sister Church in Romania, where I recently visited.     + Archimandrite Akakios

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Your Eminence,
Your Grace,
Dear Fathers,
On the occasion of Your Patronal Feast here in Etna, His Grace, Bishop Flavian asked me to translate and convey these words, as follows:

My dearest Brothers in Christ,
First of all, I would like to begin my spiritual journey to Your Graces by thanking God for all of His wonders! The first wonder (and the greatest of all) is that by His Mercy, we are representing the same Church; we are confessing the same and only Supreme Truth; we are united by the powerful bounds of Eucharistic Communion between us. I also pray that our God will give us more days for praising Him through our strong friendship and brotherhood in Christ.

Every year when I write a Festal Greeting for Your Excellencies, I cannot stop myself from thinking that there cannot be a Feast Day more appropriate for You than that of Saint Gregory Palamas. And why do I say that? Because Uncreated Light is the very definition of Orthodoxy. Because Orthodoxy is Light and Salvation. Because the Light is the Truth, and the Truth is Christ. And because the light is more and more shiny and bright as it is surrounded by darkness and ignorance. Without trying to flatter You, I confess that I always refer to You as apostles and forerunners of the True Light, in that faraway world. I am very much sure that any spiritual battle there is more painful and deeper than here, in an orthodox country. Especially for this reason, I am sure God will endow You with more joy of His uncreated Light - the same Light that His Disciples saw on Mount Tabor.

And we fervently pray that we together, like a bouquet of flowers in blossom, may partake of this ineffable joy of Salvation in ICXC, by the intercession of Theotokos and prayers of Saint Gregory, walking unceasingly "to the heights, to the heights" of Faith, Love and Hope.

Humbly with a metanoia
and Kissing Your right hand,
Flavian, Bishop of Ilfov

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