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Metropolitan Onufry welcomes Fr. Daniel Andrejuk.

With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, Representative of the Orthodox Church in America to the Moscow Patriarchate, was among those who participated in the celebration of the 1030th Anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus’ during the last week of July 2018.

Father Daniel joined representatives of 12 of the world’s autocephalous Orthodox Churches at the celebration, which began on Friday, July 27 with a Service of Thanksgiving on Kyiv’s iconic Saint Vladimir Hill, at which His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry of Kyiv and All Ukraine presided.

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Fr. Daniel, far right, at St. Vladimir Hill.

“A procession led by Metropolitan Onufry—a walk of some six kilometers—then made its way to the Monastery of the Caves,” Father Daniel reported. “With an estimated 250,000 participants, the procession was the largest to mark the occasion in years.”

Metropolitan Onufry also presided at the celebration of the Vigil in the square in front of the Monastery of the Caves’ Dormition Cathedral, where he also concelebrated the Divine Liturgy on Saturday, July 28 with the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, guest hierarchs, and the representatives of the Churches of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Russia, Georgia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Albania, Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and America.

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Tens of thousands of faithful process from St. Vladimir Hill to Kyiv’s Monastery of the Caves.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Onufry challenged the faithful to remain “faithful children of Saint Vladimir,” who brought Orthodox Christianity to Kyivan Rus’ in 988 AD.

“One could really feel the unity and support for Metropolitan Onufry,” observed Father Daniel, who delivered greetings on behalf of Metropolitan Tikhon and the Orthodox Church in America.  Similar greetings marking the occasion were sent to His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.  The texts of both greetings appear below.

Greetings of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry of Kyiv and All Ukraine
The 1030th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’
July 25, 2018

Your Beatitude, Beloved Brother in Christ:

It is meet and right that the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ is celebrated in Kyiv and on the day the Holy Church celebrates Saint Vladimir, Great Prince of Kyiv and Equal to the Apostles.

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Metropolitan Onufry arrives for Saturday’s Divine Liturgy.

The choice made by Saint Vladimir has brought to Christ millions of people. What was Kievan Rus’ in 988 is in 2018 the vast territory of three sovereign states—Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. While these countries have distinct cultures, political and social contexts, and current challenges, they share a common spiritual and cultural inheritance.

The celebration of Saint Vladimir and the Baptism of Rus’ in Kyiv has special historical meaning because it was in Kyiv that the Baptism of Rus’ occurred and the path to the Orthodox Christian faith was opened for millions of men and women generation after generation. In the Orthodox Church in America many of our faithful in the United States and Canada are also heirs of the Baptism of Rus’ and treasure their connection to the Kyivan Baptismal Font.

On behalf of the Holy Synod and the clergy, monastics, and lay people of the Orthodox Church in America I send to Your Beatitude this congratulatory message and my representative, Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, Dean of Saint Catherine Representation Church in Moscow, who is travelling to Kyiv after attending the 19th All-American Council of our Church in Saint Louis, Missouri.

We ask Your Beatitude for your holy prayers, and assure you of our prayers for you and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

With love in the Lord,

Your brother and concelebrant,

+ Tikhon
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Greetings of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to
His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia
The 1030th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’
July 28, 2018

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Fr. Daniel serves at the Divine Liturgy.

Your Holiness, Dear Brother in Christ:

The celebration of Great Prince Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles coincides with the observance of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’. Kievan Rus’ was the birthplace of Orthodox Christianity in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Consequently, the celebrations of Saint Vladimir and the anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ symbolize and express the brotherhood of three sovereign nations. They become fervent prayers for the peace and well-being of three peoples.

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Fr. Daniel, third from left, with guest clergy.

In this occasion I express to Your Holiness our love, and assure you of our prayers for you, your Holy Church, and the people of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

I ask for Your Holiness’ prayers for the Orthodox Church in America and its mission in North America.

Your brother and concelebrant,

+ Tikhon
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada