By Kostas Onisenko
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and all Ukraine sent wishes to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of his name day today.
His greeting speech, which was published on Metropolitan’s personal page on social media, is as follows:
“On behalf of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, I cordially congratulate His All-Holiness Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch for his name day!
The days when we commemorate our heavenly protectors are those days to remember their lives and to be inspired by their example. Holy Apostle Bartholomew, whose name you bear, was a tireless preacher of the word of God among many nations.
The Savior Himself noted His pure soul and the lack of wickedness in it (John 1:47). You, Your All-Holiness, also make every effort to build fraternal relationships between the Churches, to bring the faithful into communion with the Church and God, to care for people sincerely, and to draw attention to important global problems.
The Lord has generously bestowed upon you Christian virtues, which You have cultivated, preserved and developed significantly: charity, patience, self-control, kindness and humility.
It is your great spiritual power, fueled by the love of God, your sacrifice and kindness, your sincerity and your righteousness that enables you to lead the Mother Church of Constantinople for almost three decades.
Your contribution to the resolution of the old ecclesiastical issue in Ukraine is difficult to overestimate.
You make great efforts to build Orthodoxy, to liberate the Churches from malicious influence, you are not looking for rewards for that. Only the Lord knows how much effort you put into it and only He will be able to reward you for Your achievements.
On behalf of the Orthodox Ukrainians and I would like to congratulate you on your name day, to assure you of our uncompromising and deep respect, and express my sincere gratitude for your actions in establishing an independent local Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
May the Savior, through the prayers of your heavenly patron, St. Bartholomew the Apostle, your holy predecessors on the Patriarchal Throne of the Great Church of Christ and all the saints, grant you health, longevity, success in ministry and all good deeds. May the Saviour protect you from all evil.