31 March 2024
Today, we commemorate and praise all the Venerable Fathers of the Kyiv Caves Monastery. All those who became a true treasure of the oldest monastic abode in our land and who spiritually and literally became its foundation.
It is impossible to single out anyone who would be more significant than others in the vast host of the Saints of the Kyiv Caves Monastery. Each of them is a good example for Orthodox Christians.
The Kyiv Caves Lavra is not just a beautiful place or a museum of antiquity. It is a basis of our Christian civilisation, a spiritual fortress, which stood guard over the faith in those periods when the authorities, and even the episcopate, deviated from the purity of Orthodoxy, when brutal persecution befell our Church and people.
Through the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, Who has taken the Holy Lavra as Her third domain, the monastery has survived despite numerous upheavals and periods of devastation. The prayers of the Venerable Fathers of the Kyiv Caves Monastery have more than once saved Kyiv from various troubles.
 Today, our Holy Lavra is once again under attack. But in spite of all the oppression, injustice, lies, and betrayal, it remains the living spiritual heart of Ukraine and a shrine wherewith the soul of our people is inextricably linked. The Lavra is our guardian angel, as His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy once said.
This is the main reason for all this hatred and malice which rises against our Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the holy monastery over and over again. But no matter how much slander is spread and no matter how much the enemies of the Orthodox people persecute our hierarchs, our priests, and our brothers and sisters in faith, they will achieve nothing, for everything built without God is unsolid and short-lived.
The Orthodox Church is undefeatable and eternal because she is founded upon the cornerstone whose name is Christ. For God, there is no time. All are alive for God, and therefore the earthly and Heavenly Church is one. All the saints of our land are not anywhere in the past, they always stand by us with their Christian love and their prayers. They are the salt of our land. They are those who will never betray and will always help. They have yet to say their weighty word to all the present cursers, blasphemers, and persecutors.
And we, dear brothers and sisters, should preserve unity and faithfulness to our Mother Church. We should pray a lot, heartily repent, and learn to forgive and love everyone no matter what, as Christ has commanded us.
I believe that, through prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos and the Venerable Fathers of the Kyiv Caves Monastery, the Lord will save the Holy Lavra, the God-protected city of Kyiv, and our God-loving people.
I wholeheartedly greet everybody on the feast!
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