I would like to share the feeling of joy that I am with you today, with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I came from the Antioch Patriarchate, from the historical places where the apostles walked the roads we still walk on, including Damascus. It was in those places that the followers of Christ began to be called Christians for the first time. This was stated during a briefing by theUOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, guests of the celebration of the Baptism of Rus, Bishop Ephraim of Seleucia, secretary of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, reports the Information and Educational Department of the UOC.
“We arrived in Kiev in order to take part in joint events with our fraternal Ukrainian Church.
But what we saw here yesterday is a very special experience for us. We felt love, we felt our brotherly bond and it was as if we had known each other for many years. And we, of course, saw deep faith. We saw her in the eyes of hundreds of thousands of crucifixes.
And I am personally convinced that the faith that you adopted a thousand years ago has become even stronger over this long period. This wealth of love and faith, which we felt together with you, we will bring home with us, to our country, to the Patriarchate of Antioch.
And we pray that the Lord will give His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry many years, as well as all his assistants – the bishops and all the flock.
I convey to you all greetings from Patriarch John of Antioch! Many years! Happy Holidays! ”- said the hierarch.
On July 27, a religious procession dedicated to the 1033th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus was held in Kiev. The UOC estimates that 350,000 people took part in it.