Greeting message from the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije on the occasion of the celebration of the 1033rd anniversary of the Baptism of Russia

Your Beatitude, dear brother and co-worker in Christ, Blessed Brother Onuphry, together with brothers hierarchs, priests and hieromonks, abbesses with the sisterhood, brothers and sisters of the faithful of Kiev, the whole faithful people of Ukraine who firmly and unwaveringly keep the purity of the Orthodox faith Lord and Savior of our Jesus Christ, I congratulate you on the great holiday - the Day of the Baptism of Russia and with it the memory of your Baptist - the Holy Faithful and Equal-to-the-Apostles Grand Duke Vladimir.

Your personality, dear brother in Christ, firmly managing the ship of the Ukrainian Church, has become a symbol of fidelity to the unity of the Orthodox Church, of courageous resistance to temptations, in this very difficult time. The choice you made, following the personality of your great predecessor, Metropolitan Vladimir, is identical to the choice made by Saint Prince Vladimir, when he decided on Orthodoxy, having previously become acquainted with all the religions of the world at that time. Remaining faithful to the canonical order and unity with the Orthodox Church, you have repeated the election of the Holy Prince Vladimir. Thus, with your hierarchs, clergy, monastics and people, you have become a role model that is recognized in our believing Serbian people. You have, Your Beatitude, witnessed brotherly and active love when you came to that part of the Serbian Orthodox Church which was, and still is, exposed to similar, very dangerous temptations, in Montenegro. There, together with the late Metropolitan Amfilohije, you prayed for the unity of the Church and led the liturgy that made us, Orthodox Serbs, as well as the people of Ukraine, be recognized in the world for our fidelity to Christ, for courageously resisting the temptations that the prince of this world puts before us.

Today, on the day of this great holiday, I express my great gratitude to you for such help and love. That is why the Holy Orthodox Church, both in Serbia and Ukraine and everywhere where fidelity to the Holy Tradition, canonical order is kept, and relies on the prayers of the Holy Prince Vladimir and Saint Sava Srpski, will be a glorious and great victor over the forces of this world.

Once again, I greet you, Your Beatitude, cordially, I congratulate you on the holiday, praying that the Lord will give you the strength to continue to serve your Church and faithful people.

With love in Christ the Lord,

Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch