On February 10, on the Feast of the Synaxis of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, Metropolitan Juvenal of Krutitsy and Kolomna, the Patriarchal Vicar of the Moscow Diocese, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Kremlin Dormition Patriarchal Cathedral.
The Metropolitan was assisted by the Vicars of the Moscow Diocese: Bishops Tikhon of Vidnovo, Roman of Serpukhov, Konstantin of Zaraysk, Pyotr of Lukhovitsy, as well as Protopresbyter Vladimir Divakov, Archpriest Mikhail Egorov, and other clerics of the Moscow Diocese.
During the Liturgy, a prayer was offered for the repose of the souls of the deceased servants of God “killed while being innocent, who endured sufferings and tortures during the difficult years, and experienced a painful end in exile and in prison”.
At the end of the Liturgy, Metropolitan Juvenal addressed the clergy and the faithful with the following words:
“Beloved brothers arch-pastors, reverend fathers, dear brothers and sisters! First of all, I want to express my gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for giving me his blessing to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Kremlin Dormition Cathedral. It is difficult to convey what we feel when we glorify the innumerable crowd of new martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church.
I remember what happened nineteen years ago: His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in this church with the members of the Holy Synod. Then he opened the Jubilee Assembly of the Russian Orthodox Church Bishops. The glorification of the new martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church during this Assembly left indelible marks in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church throughout the world. When we glorify the new martyrs, we feel what a graceful force keeps the Church and our homeland, because they showed courage, steadfastness, and solid faith in our Savior during the years of terrible persecution.
We still have many testimonies about their life of confession. And many years before that, the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of the Saints studied the acts of the martyrs and collected testimonies about their lives of purity, solid faith, and love for their earthly homeland.
Their memory and teachings inspire us today to fulfill the commandments of God and to live according to Christ’s teaching and faith. I am very happy that today, we are celebrating together the new martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church. At the same time, the Church is beginning to prepare for the great salvific Lent.
Today’s Gospel (Lk 19:1-10) reminds us that the Lord is close to us. It seems to be a common image: a short man stands behind a large crowd and cannot see Christ. Then, as the Gospel says, he went up a tree in order to see the Lord passing by. Christ, looking up at him, said: “Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus, come down quickly: today I must go and stay at your house” (Lk 19:5). And here is this publican born again, though people hated him, grumbling that Christ went to a sinner’s. Filled with joy, he said, “Behold, Lord, I give to the poor half of my goods, and if I have wronged anyone, I will repay him four times more”. Christ answered, “Today, salvation has come for this house, because the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost”. (Lk 19:9-10). How edifying this is for us, beloved brothers and sisters, for those who are baptized from an early age, for those who serve the Lord as priests or bishops, and for those who perhaps came here today for the first time and hear this news! The Lord is close to all of us, He wants to save us all, we for whom He came to earth and suffered.
Please receive my warm wishes for a happy feast of the memory of the new martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church, and blessed preparatory weeks of the upcoming Great Lent. I wish you all salvation, repentance, and God’s many mercies. I congratulate all those who received communion today and pray for God’s blessing on all of you”.
Source in Russian