On May 26, 2019, the 5th Sunday of Pascha, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the great consecration of the Church de Tous-les-Saints [All-Saints] in Strasbourg. He gave the following homily at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

Patriarch Kirill’s homily on the occasion of All Saints church consecration in Strasbourg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Your Honor, Mr. Mayor! Your Honor, Monsignor the Archbishop [the Roman Catholic archbishop of Strasbourg]! Sirs, dear fathers, brothers, and sisters!

Today, a historic event took place for the Orthodox of Strasbourg: we have dedicated the first Orthodox church, as previously, as rightly pointed out, our community gathered to pray in premises that were not suitable for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. That is why, after this consecration, we especially thank God, and those who worked for the construction of the church of God, especially you, the Mayor, the authorities of Strasbourg, Monsignor the Archbishop, and all those who have supported this holy work by their kindness and prayer.

On this 5th Sunday of Pascha, the Church has us read the Gospel of Saint John on the meeting between the Savior and the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn 4:5-42). The Samaritans differed from the Jews, especially because they considered they had to worship God at Mount Garizim, close to their villages, while the Jews, as we know, worshiped God in Jerusalem. When the Samaritan woman conversed with Jesus Christ, and understood who this Man was, that He was not of this world, she asked Him the question that worried her most, her and her group, where should we pray to God, in Jerusalem or on Mount Garizim? The Lord’s answer was unexpected, We have to pray in spirit and in truth, He said, which means that we can pray anywhere.

What is prayer in spirit? Which spirit are we talking about? Are we talking about our moral forces? We know they are not enough, even for the simplest things. As human beings, we aspire to ensure a comfortable life, to improve our quality of life and our relationships with others. We  are spending our moral strength in an enormous amount of things. That is why the Lord, responding to the woman, was not speaking about her moral strength, but of the power of the divine Spirit. We cannot speak to God and attain His glory if we rely only on our own resources.

However, this assertion is against the basic objectives of contemporary civilization, which states that we can do anything, that we are the main force and that there is no other. The Lord says, Yes, you are strong, but this strength cannot reach me without My will, nor without My participation. God hears our prayer only when it is in the power of the Spirit, when His divine Spirit strengthens us.

Many saints have dedicated their lives to growing in the Spirit, to strengthening themselves in Him, and they have reached dizzying heights. To do so, they often had to leave the world, go to the desert where they became great saints, with an immense inner strength.

What should we do, us ordinary people? We live in this contemporary civilization, we are confronted with a huge amount of everyday problems. Many of those present in this church today will have already forgotten it this afternoon, and will be plunged back into the problems they must solve. So, how can we grow in strength? Will it last until our next visit to the supermarket, where our goals become immediately more down to earth, where we forget the spirit? That is why, in our modern and technologically developed civilization, we need places where we can feel God’s closeness. In Russia, we have understood it very well. You know that during the atheist regime, most churches were destroyed, and it seemed there would never be a spiritual life again in Russia. Today, I want to say we open there an average of three churches a day. I’m not mistaken, I am really saying three churches in 24 hours. Not that we have a lot of money, and do not know what to do with it: the people who have experienced years of atheism have understood in the intelligence and in their heart that they cannot do anything without God.

All the forces of the superpower called the Soviet Union were aimed at building a happy life without God. All the forces, politics, culture, science, army, strove for this purpose. It did not work! As a people, we have concluded that it is impossible to build a happy society without God. That’s why we build three churches a day, and we believe that in the West, where the situation may be a little different, there will come a time when people will again become aware of the need for a more intense spiritual life.

We have a great respect for the work of Pope Francis, for that of the Roman Catholic bishops, and we are watching carefully what is happening spiritually in Western Europe. We stand in solidarity with your work, and I believe that together, we must redouble our efforts to bear witness to the crucified and risen Christ. I hope that this church, which will be a house of prayer for the Orthodox, will also be a meeting place for the Roman Catholic community, a space for dialogue, so necessary for Christians living in a secularized civilization.

I would like to thank you once again, Mr. Mayor, for your goodness and your kind words, as well as you, Mgr Archbishop, and all the inhabitants of Strasbourg for your warm welcome to the construction of a Russian Orthodox Church. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to all the Orthodox who have worked for the construction of this holy church, especially to the rector, Father Philippe.

Source in French

Dear readers,

This is one of the five free articles that you can read in their entirety.

To access the unlimited number of full articles, please:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Beside an anthology on Cistercian texts, Emma Cazabonne has translated and published articles on Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She converted to Orthodoxy in 2008. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

Orthodoxie.com Newsletter

Don't miss out on important news and updates. Subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletter.



Divider

Popular Posts

Thousands of orthodox Christians rally against barbaric Australian abortion draft law Headlines 114211

Sydney’s Martin Place was packed with pro-life demonstrators last night, protesting a proposed bill to decriminalize abortion that awaits considera...

Romanian Church hopes to open a monastery in Ireland Europe 114209

The Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Southern and Western Europe has published an official appeal to faithful Orthodox Christians to offer their pra...

24 août 70753

24 août  Saint Eutyque, disciple de saint Jean le Théologien, martyr (Ier s.) ; saint Tation, martyr à Claudiopolis (305) ; sainte Sira, vierge et ...

11 août (ancien calendrier) / 24 août (nouveau) 70751

11 août (ancien calendrier) / 24 août (nouveau) Carême de la Dormition Après-fête de la Transfiguration de notre Seigneur, Dieu et Sauveur Jésus-Ch...

On considère dans l’Église orthodoxe russe que l’on ne doit pas bénir les armes de destruction ma... 114203

Les armes de destruction massive ne doivent pas être bénies par les membres du clergé. C’est ce qu’a déclaré le vice-chancelier du Patriarcat de Mo...

L’Église orthodoxe roumaine espère ouvrir un monastère en Irlande 114198

La métropole d’Europe occidentale et méridionale de l’Église orthodoxe roumaine a publié un appel officiel aux fidèles orthodoxes pour élever leurs...

Des milliers de chrétiens orthodoxes se sont rassemblés en Australie contre la nouvelle loi « bar... Asie 114194

La Place Martin de Sydney était bondée de manifestants pro-vie dans la nuit du 20 au 21 août, pour protester contre un projet de loi visant à décri...

Fête de la Transfiguration du Seigneur sur le Mont Grabarka (Pologne) 114188

Comme chaque année, au monastère Saintes-Marthe-et-Marie, a eu lieu la fête annuelle de la venue de la copie de l’icône de la Mère de Dieu d’Iviron...

23 août 70748

23 août Jour de jeûne Clôture de la Fête de la Dormition de la Très-Sainte Mère de Dieu et toujours Vierge Marie ; saint Irénée, évêque de Lyon, ma...

10 août (ancien calendrier)/ 23 août (nouveau) 70746

10 août (ancien calendrier)/ 23 août (nouveau) Carême de la Dormition Après-fête de la Transfiguration de notre Seigneur, Dieu et Sauveur Jésus-Chr...

France 2 : « Olivier Clément le poète de la beauté divine» – 25 août prochain 114106

Dimanche 25 août à partir de 9h30 diffusion de l'émission de France 2 « Olivier Clément – le poète de la beauté divine »

2019 Oxford Conference: “Scholars, pastors, policy makers gather to discuss Orthodoxy, sex,... Europe 114093

An international academic gathering of scholars, pastors, clinicians, and other expertstook place in Oxford from 16th to 19th August, at which cont...