Friday, June 4, 2010

Sunday of All Saints of Russia

Since I don't know when I'll next be online, I'll post for the Sunday service now. Here is my translation of a short homily by Metropolitan Philaret of Eastern America and New York:
Today’s feast day is a special feast day. It appeared not very long ago in Church life, inasmuch as a feast in honor of Russian saints did not exist in the good old days. It appeared. And now it has a special meaning and significance, because after the glorification of the New Martyrs of Russia took place we see that no single people, no single country, has given as many saints as has the Russian country and the Russian people.

And now we, beloved, have here edification and, if you like, also a rebuke, because these saints who were glorified now and added to the ranks of Russian saints lived in nightmarish conditions: in conditions of dire persecution, not only in terms of abuse and torture, but also in the sense of moral oppression. They, however, resisted and were the first martyrs in these horrible years of difficulty.

Therefore we need to take them as an example – we who live in freedom. However, our lives are not at all faithful to Christian law! The Russian saints call us to follow after them, not only to glorify them. Once the Holy Hierarch Theophan the Recluse wrote that if one wants to glorify a saint, then one should not only glorify him, but emulate his podvigs. This should be known about everyone who glorified the Lord and His greatness during these terrible years and remained faithful sons and daughters of the Orthodox Church. Amen.
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