St. Nektarios 10/09/98 (English)
Saint Nektarios, Bishop of Pentapolis, The Miracle-Worker
by the Grace of God
Pope and Patriarch
of Alexandria and All Africa.
Beloved and faithful children of the Church,
In these modern times, when our way of life is constantly changing, when the products of technology and the numerous experiences of our daily life, confuse manís spirit incurably, crushing the hope of our hearts and destroying manís character, the Saints of our Church bear witness to manís salvation, the majesty of manís spirit and the ontological concept of hope and the recognition of human life.
One of the Great Saints of our Orthodox Church, who lived and experienced the joyful meeting and continuous coexistence with Christ our God, who aimed to build a new world, to separate man from his stained inheritance and to reform the human personality, is Saint Nektarios, Bishop of the ancient Kyrenian Pentapolis, the Wonder-worker.
All that our Church believes and experiences is to be found in the inner personality of Saint Nektarios. This is substantiated through our life-experience.
The whole Grace of the Church exists in his life, and the burning flame, which is St. Nektarios, passes on to us the essence of the mystery of the Church.
He is truly formed by great experiences. He is able to transfuse us with holiness and grace because he himself was tested and saved.
Saint Nektarios lived in our Patriarchate and became the humble servant of the world, despite the difficulties caused by malicious intent, the atmosphere of contempt and defeat, enmity and injustice. He achieved absolute humility. In virtuous silence he endured the turmoil of his flaming soul. Like Noah in his ark, he relived the experience of humanity mixing the waters of deluge, the water of Baptism and the tears of his eyes. He overcame every trial and temptation through continuous prayer.
He became the vessel of Godís Grace. He is the poor, the unseen, the meek, the kind, the wonder-worker, and the protector of Godís divine love for mankind.
In the life of Saint Nektarios, the world, mankind, every one of us finds his measure, the scale by which to compare, the truth. We realize the ugliness of our spiritual self-centeredness; we see perfection in the fear that we might wound Godís love; we search for the only, the essential evangelical reality - that we must renounce ourselves and take up our cross in our daily lives. And the life of Saint Nektarios also reveals something completely different: the power of man, mobilized by the presence of God, freedom of choice and the deep desire to be a child of God.
110 years have passed since the ordination of St. Nektarios as Bishop of our Patriarchate, and over 100 years have passed since St. Nektarios, the Great Father and Teacher of our Church, was cast out from the Patriarchate of Alexandria, because of human weakness, error and the influence of the evil one. We, Myself and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, calling upon the mercy of God Who so loves mankind, and witnessing by the grace of the Holy Spirit the conscience of the body of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church regarding the holiness of St. Nektarios, admit the injustice which was done against the Saint, restore the canonical order, ask the Saint to forgive us and the fathers and brothers who have passed away, for all that he endured and suffered, and dedicate the year 1999 to the sacred memory of our holy father Nektarios, Metropolitan of Pentapolis, the Wonder-worker.
The dedication of the year 1999 to the memory of Saint Nektarios is essentially an invitation to repent, to separate us from the fallen world of destruction and death, and to join with the new risen world in Christ. This is an opportunity for us all to find God and the man of Paradise, to increase our awareness and goodness. This is the heritage and the precious gift of a holy man, who is one of us, St. Nektarios. This is how he overcame destruction, death and time. This is why he exists today.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through the intercessions of our Father Saint Nektarios be with you all.
With warm prayers to God for all of you.
In the Great City of
10th September, 1998