Nativity epistle of His Eminence, Archbishop Gabriel. 2018

07:37 PM

The Most Reverend Archbishop Gabriel
of Montreal and Canada

The Nativity Epistle

To the clergy and all the faithful flock of the Canadian diocese

Beloved in Christ brothers and sisters!

The great and joyful feast of the birth of Christ in the flesh, the appearance in the world of the
infant Christ, born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, is an historical event. It is not a
coincidence that our forefathers felt that the events tied to the Nativity of Christ as related in the
Gospels were events that were not far removed from what they had experienced in their own
past. Metropolitan Anthony, the Abba of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
remarked: “After all, the Child born in Bethlehem soon became a refuge in a foreign land.” In
the preceding year of 2017 we remembered a mournful anniversary – the 100th anniversary of
the Russia’s historical tragedy, the lessons of which our people have not yet fully
The ever-memorable Metropolitan Anastasy said the following prophetic words 80 years ago:
“There is nothing more dangerous, than if Russia will wish to adopt something from its sad
inheritance, left to it by corrupt bolshevism: anything, which has been touched by its
decomposing atheistic hand, is at risk of being once more infected by the old leprosy.”
The new year brings with it the 100-year anniversary of a new massacre of the infants: the death
of the Russian royal family, including the innocent children of the last Russian emperor. The
loss of the Russian emperor, who was anointed by God and had a special restraining
interdiction before the throne of God, brought about innumerable woes not only for Russia, but
for the whole world. Now, when we hope, the time has come for the Russian people to return
to the ideals of Holy Russia, we have faith that the prayers of the royal passion-bearers at the
throne of God are heard and that the Lord will not and has not forgotten the Russian land.
The joy of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem could not be darkened by the anger which boiled up
during this greatest of events in the history of mankind: the appearance of the Saviour of the
world. Brothers and sisters, when we remember the wisemen’s gifts of gold, frankincense and
myrrh brought to the manger in Bethlehem let us not forget about the gifts that we should bring
to our Lord throughout our earthly life: “Let us earnestly open the treasure chest of our hearts
and bring Him good deeds – faith, hope and love” (Stichira on ‘Lord I have cried’ for December

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Archbishop of Montreal and Canada