Congratulations on the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, dear brothers and sisters!

From the very dawn of Christianity in Rus’ to this day, the Mother of God (Theotokos) has been revered as the Protectress of our holy land. Like for many generations of those who lived before us, the main meaning of today’s feast is very close and dear to us. It is the revelation that the Most Holy Mother of God cares about the salvation of all humankind, of each of us.

Today’s great holiday testifies that even in the most difficult times, when it seems that darkness is overpowering, that all solid foundations are crumbling and the earth itself is shaking underfoot, when enemies overwhelm, when neighbours betray, when natural and social cataclysms befall, when diseases frighten – at such times people of God were strengthened and are strengthened now by the belief that at the most difficult moment help from above will certainly come. That the Most Holy Theotokos, abiding in the greatest glory of Her Divine Son, will give protection to all those who seek Christ, freeing them from many troubles and misfortunes.

The Feast of the Holy Protection is a celebration of hope that we all need so much today. Hope that gives us strength to go forward, not to retreat in the face of any trials, to be faithful to our true purpose.

The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos extends over all the people of God. In gratitude for this, numerous Protection churches, temples and monasteries have grown throughout our land, where the Most Holy Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ is constantly hymned and glorified.

I wholeheartedly congratulate all of you, friends, on this holy day!

Let the blessed Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos shine with an unearthly light over all of us! This is our joy and our consolation.