07 April 2023
Today we celebrate one of the most joyful and bright days of the year – the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

How much spiritual labour, how many prayers and tears of many generations it took for humanity to be able to provide God with the purest vessel, which was second to none from the beginning of time, — the Blessed Virgin Mary.

When the Lord’s Archangel brought Her the good news about the birth of the Saviour into this world, She accepted it with meekness, humility and obedience, and thus pleased God, and turned out to be worthy of Him. She cultivated in Herself all possible spiritual virtues and thereby rose to a height inaccessible to people and angels.

The example of the Mother of God serves as our constant consolation, inspiration and help, and we are called to try to follow it. To accept all the trials that fall onto us with humility and bear our small life crosses with patience.

Today we also see an amazing and wonderful example of such people – the defenders of our Holy Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Thanks to daily broadcasts and photo reports, we see the nice and bright faces of monks, clergy, and laity – our brothers and sisters. We see their faithfulness, commitment, and humility. We see those who form the very concept of the “soul of the people” – ordinary Ukrainians who came out to defend not only their faith, their spiritual mentors, but also our common freedom and justice.

With their daily feat, they bring the Good News to the world and their compatriots. And people see their faces, their eyes, their steadfastness, and by the Providence of God, many gradually adopt from them this spirit of Light, the spirit of Truth, and the spirit of humility.

Regardless of how the events develop, the humble defenders of the Lavra have already won – God is with them, the Most Holy Theotokos is with them, the holy fathers of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra are with them, and the Truth is with them.

God seeks out such pure, sincere hearts on earth in order to come live in them, to enlighten and save them, to pour out His Grace onto the world through them.

Dear brothers and sisters!

We all need to find this spirit of peace in ourselves and arm ourselves with some patience. Whatever happens around us, I wish all of us not to extinguish love, to remain faithful to our values, our convictions, and our Mother Church! Seeing our humility, the Lord will grant us everything we need.

Happy Feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos!
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