25 December 2023
Dear brothers and sisters!
Today, we celebrate the commemoration day of Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Tremithus.

He is one of the most revered saints, a wonderworker, a zealous defender of the Orthodox faith. The Church tradition and popular love put him alongside Saint Nicholas of Myra in Lycia in terms of greatness.

At the same time, the very image of Saint Spyridon breaks many stereotypes existing in public consciousness. After becoming a bishop, he, an uneducated shepherd and husbandman, defended the Truth of God and put to shame the heretical philosophers at the legendary Council of Nicaea. A poor man, he gave away everything he had to the needy, and for hundreds of years, millions of people around the world have considered him to be their main helper in material hardships and everyday problems. A humble man of prayer and a simple man, he had such a high level of love for and trust in God that the Lord sent people rain in times of drought and famine, healed those who were incurably sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead in response to his supplications. His relics, which repose on the Greek island of Corfu, have been preserved uncorrupted to this day and have the body temperature of a living person.

Saint Spyridon did not prove by words, but showed with all his life that God is all-overcoming Love. That a guarantee of a truly happy life is full trust in Christ in simplicity of heart.

A man distorted by sins grows his ego to the skies and directs all his interests to himself, to ensuring his comfort at the expense of others. Thus, while outwardly possessing all the good things of civilisation, a lover of himself is inwardly hardly different from a predator living under the law of the jungle. Ruining the harmonious system of the world year after year, such a man turns from the king and keeper of this world into its tyrant and destroyer.

We see that the entire history of mankind is, unfortunately, the progress of technology and the regress of soul. And the present sad events only confirm it.

Only Christian love, pure and self-sacrificing, helps us to rebuild ourselves and change our detrimental way of thinking. Only such love teaches us to notice and feel the joys and sorrows of one’s neighbour, gives a chance to realise that the world has been created not only for you specifically, but for our common happy life in peace and concord with ourselves, with people around us, and with God.

It is this peace that I want to wish all of us today.

Happy feast, dear brothers and sisters!
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