Lykio Ellinidon in Johannesburg 16/05/98 (English)
PETROS VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa to the Consul General of Greece in Johannesburg and the Lyceum of Greek Women
May 16th, 1998
I thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who gave His Blood for the salvation of all mankind, and through His Sacrifice on the Cross reconciled man to God, the Father.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa is proud to observe the joint cultural activity of the Consulate General of Greece and the Lyceum of Greek Women aiming at promoting the arts within the South African Hellenic Community as well as basic Christian values such as charity.
I am touched by your love for charity. For Christís new commandment is to love one another as He loved us (John 15:17). No other virtue in Christianity can bring man closer to God, as charity.
Charity is an imitation of Godís love expressed to man. When man loves his neighbour, he fulfills Godís Will. Love is above all virtues, as they consist of love. You cannot pray even to God, if you do not love your neighbour. You cannot be moral, if you do not love morality. You cannot be charitable, if you do not have love within your heart.
No matter how man practices the law of charity, he is pleasing God, Who is the source of all good. Practice charity and you will see Godís blessings overflowing your hearts, souls and granting protection to your families. Through charity you imitate Him, Who because of love, gave His life for the salvation of the whole world.
And we are proud to have such faithful children in our Greek Orthodox Church, who struggle in their daily life to practice Godís commandments and to show kindness, love, compassion and understanding towards the sufferings of man.
My beloved children in Christ, I thank you from My humble heart for the opportunity which you gave Me to address you with these words.
I pray that our beloved Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ grants to you all and to your families, health and peace, and may the Light of His Resurrection always shine the path which will guide you to a virtuous life.
May God bless you.
With Fatherly love.
+ PETROS VII
Pope And Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
In the Great City of Alexandria
May 16th , 1998