No man enjoys such love from folks as His Beatitude Onufriy does
November 5 is a birthday of the UOC Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy.
In fact, monks do not celebrate their birthday. A monk is not supposed to celebrate anything, except for church holidays. His Beatitude does so. By the way, with the current Kiev Metropolitan, the former tradition to arrange abundant feasts when celebrating church holidays or personal memorable dates of bishops has gradually ceased. The asceticism of His Beatitude has a positive effect on his environment – which is good.
The Metropolitan does not celebrate his birthday in a secular way. He prays – serves the Divine Liturgy. We also pray on this day, in a temple or at home. We thank the Lord for sending us the right person at the right time. We plead the Lord to strengthen him and keep him safe.
Our Church needs His Beatitude a lot today. So does Ukraine and the whole world. In Ukraine, the issue of the unity of the World Orthodoxy is now being resolved and therefore, the fate of the entire universe. His Beatitude is a key figure in this matter.
I would like to note the following. All current Primates of Churches have to speak out not only on matters of spiritual life or church organization, but also on topics in which the life of society overlaps with the life of the Church. Our Kiev Metropolitan is not an exception. Upon that a wonderful thing happens: a spiritual image of His Beatitude adds weight and might to his archpastoral word.
Whatever Vladyka talks about – politics or politicians, war, division of Ukrainian society, nationalism and patriotism, autocephaly – he looks at all these phenomena through the lens of the Gospel. His testimony is perceived as a true voice of Church Tradition. And if a Christian really loves God and places faith above any ideology, above love for the Motherland, above anything else, he is going in the same direction with His Beatitude Onufriy.
One can say that His Beatitude, against his will, is becoming a cult figure today. Hundreds of his photos, quotations from sermons and interviews, testimonies of him by authoritative modern hierarchs and devotees go viral on the Net. His services are attended by crowds.
People's love for His Beatitude is a very important fact. This is something that is impossible to buy or get by guile. The souls of ordinary folks are drawn to Metropolitan Onufriy because they feel that this bishop is a true icon of Christ. The tormented citizens of Ukraine see in their archpastor genuine fruits of the proper Christian life, described by the Apostle Paul: “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, mercy, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal.5-2-23-23). That is why people love him, and therefore, follow him.
Not a single public figure in Ukraine has such a public love as our Metropolitan does! Those who are acting against the UOC and its Primate today appear even more negative against the image of our Archpastor.
It is a pity that the opponents of the Church do not take this into account today. They will go down in history as godless men. His Beatitude will forever remain in people's memory as a man of God who is calling to fulfill the Gospel commandments. Are new Lenins and Khrushchevs aware of this? Hardly. If they were, they would not do what they are doing now.
The current church situation is very similar to the beginning of the 20s of the last century. Atheists come to power, clouds are gathering over the Church. Patriarch Tikhon and his clergy are faced up to unprecedented pressure. With the help of Constantinople, the state creates a pseudo-church to fulfill its ideological plans. Persecution is on the way. Temples are gradually seized by the schismatics.
How similar the situation is at the moment... Therefore, I would like to wish His Beaitude Onufriy the following: “Dear Vladyka! Your path is akin to that of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon. And we pray to God to bestow you fortitude to bear this cross to the end. While you are going, we are following you. If we do not have you, we can stop. May the Lord strengthen you and preserve for the Church. She needs your pastoral word and prayer today like never before!”
Many happy returns, our beloved Blessed Vladyka!