Редакция Православного альманаха
Архиепископа Николая, председателя Священного Синода
Церкви ИПХ Греции (Матфеевский Синод)
От редакции «Романитаса»: 1.Энциклика предоставлена Редакции представителем Синода в переводе с греческого на английский и Редакция сохраняет оригинальный перевод. 2. В исключительных обстоятельствах настоящего момента Энциклика подписана только Архиепископом.
of the Archbishop of the Church of the T.O.C. of Greece kyr kyr Nicholas to the Christ-named Pleroma of the Church of the G.O.C. of Greece
Nativity of Christ, 2003
"Christ being born, heaven and the earth are joined together." Litya of the Feast. My children, beloved in the Lord,
With the grace and help of God, we are today once again celebrating the great and world-saving Feast of the Nativity according to the flesh of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
""Today the Virgin gives birth to Him Who is beyond essence." "Today He Who is beginningless receives a beginning and the Word is made flesh." "Today God sojourns upon the earth, and man ascends unto the heavens." Today, for the sake of man, He who is invisible by nature becomes visible for the sake of man."
Truly, my children beloved in the Lord and most dear, the Lord Who is beyond perfect perfection, Who is unapproachable in essence and beyond understanding in divinity, the beginingless and eternal, the all-wise and man-befriending Creator of the visible and invisible world has become a Babe in a manner beyond understanding for our sakes, that
He may recreate His image that He may give unto us our adoption.
He Who cannot be contained by anything is become a Babe in the poor cave of Bethlehem; He Who holds all creation in the palm of His hand is held in the embrace of His Mother, the Ever-virgin Mary, so that He might support and raise up our wounded and fallen nature to the Kingdom of the Heavens.
A great and most wondrous miracle, o blessed Christians! A great and priceless gift of the compassions of God! A great and incomprehensible mystery is the divine Economy of this utter condescension towards us of the Savior!
The promise of God has been fulfilled; the sayings of the Prophets have been realized; the ancient bonds of Adam are loosed; Paradise is opened; the serpent has been destroyed, and all creation is recalled by the Birth of Christ!
My beloved children in the Lord: In the face of this historic moment for the world, which in fact is the world-saving event of the Divine Incarnation which has importance for each and for all personally, let us consider by what means we might respond, however humbly and unworthily, in our gratitude for this great gift.
Let us listen in this regard to the voice of the holy Fathers of the Church, who from ages past have pleased God, who first of all exort us to praise the holy Name of the Lord, to put off the old man and vest ourselves in the new man, and to put all aside as we hasten like the Magi to the Cave, to the eternal manger of Christ, that is, the Church, having followed the light of the Star, that is, the light of true Faith. There we shall offer gifts to the newborn King, as did they. But because we do not have gifts worthy of His majesty,let us offer to Him the thrice-praisworthy gift of Faith, Love and Hope, whereby our celebration of the Feast of the Nativity will become the first-fruits of a renewed life and hope in the boundless mercy of God for our salvation.
In worshipping always the one and unique Sun of Righteousness, our Lord Jesus Christ, and being illumined by the unique Light of knowledge of Him, we will be deemed worthy by divine grace to always celebrate the Holy Nativity as true children and brethren of the newborn Child.
May the grace of our Savior Who was born in a cave and lay in a manger of dumb beasts be with you all. Amen. Your fervent intercessor before the Incarnate Lord,
+Nicholas of Athens