His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos at the 60th birthday of the Head of the Russian missia in Jerusalem
On Wednesday evening, January 31/ February 12, 2020, the Head of the Russian MISSIA Archimandrite Alexander celebrated his 60th birthday.
First invited among other guests was His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, accompanied by Hagiotaphite Fathers, and He addressed Archimandrite Alexander as follows;
“Dear Archimandrite Alexander,
Members of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission,
We are delighted to take this opportunity, dear Archimandrite Alexander, to offer you sincere greetings to you on this blessed occasion of your 60th birthday.
We are grateful to you for gathering all of us together here at the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, for this gathering reflects the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious landscape that is at the heart of the true identity of this Holy City of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Indeed, the Russian Mission itself, which celebrated its 170th anniversary two years ago, is a living testimony to this unique mosaic of cultures, ethnicities, and religious traditions.
We do not take this rich diversity for granted, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to you and to all who work at the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission for your commitment to our common mission here. We are deeply aware of the pastoral care that you extend to the monasteries of the Mission, as well as the many thousands of pilgrims who come to the Holy Land from the Russian Orthodox Church, and we know how deeply the pious peoples of the Russian Church love and venerate the Holy Places, and most specifically the Holy Tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As the Psalmist says,
O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling (Psalm 42 : 3).
So many follow the prompting of the spirit to come to this holy hill – to Jerusalem – which is the spiritual home of all humankind.
We wish you, dear Archimandrite Alexander, the happiest of birthdays, and we pray that God will grant you many years in the service of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as a worthy successor to your predecessors who served sacrificially and maintained the bond of the love of Christ and the harmonious relationship between the Christians of the Russian lands and the Christians of the Holy Land.
In token of our prayers and our Patriarchal blessing, we wish to present to you this pectoral cross.
Ἐκ τῆς Ἀρχιγραμματείας
— Source: en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info