To the Synod of Bishops of
the Russian Church Abroad
Your Eminences & Graces!
The tragic news of the repose of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, who is deeply revered and respected by all, has been met with deep sorrow in our hearts.
Our diocese of Kursk always takes to heart all the events – joyful and sad – in the Russian Diaspora, because we have one common holy protectress – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. And now we remember the unforgettable days of the first arrival in Kursk after a 90-year interruption of our icon, which was brought to Moscow by dear Vladyka Metropolitan. What a joy it was greeting the icon: the literally the entire city went to meet it, and what memorable days of spiritual celebration and prayerful interaction we experienced. The reposed First Hierarch, while still an archbishop, visited Kursk at the head of a large pilgrimage group from the Australian Diocese, and we were pleased to communicate with this astonishingly kind, bright, and wise man. This will always be in our memory. And with what kindness and care the newly reposed received visiting pilgrims from Kursk in New York City!
How sorrowful that such remarkable hierarchs such as the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus and his newly-reposed most worthy successor, Metropolitan Hilarion, are leaving us!
Dear Vladykas! Accept my most sincere condolences. We share your sorrow and pray for the repose of the soul of the newly departed First Hierarch in the Heavenly mansions with the saints. Memory eternal to the newly reposed Metropolitan Hilarion, and may he inherit the Kingdom of Heaven!
May God strengthen and help you all.
Metropolitan of Kursk & Rylsk