Nativity Epistle of Abp Chrysostomos of Athens in English

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January 10, 2010

Nativity Epistle of Abp Chrysostomos of Athens in English

On the occasion of the bright and world-salvific feast of Christmas, we send warm paternal blessings along with festal words.

God manifested himself in the flesh on earth, according to the divine Paul, mankind was raised from the earthly to the heavens. All of creation rejoices on account of the great and strange mystery, which was spoken of in the Prophets and was fulfilled in Bethlehem of Judea.

The expectation of the nations shown forth to the world on this days and the prediction of the wise Socrates, as the representative of the pagan world: “You will continue to exist in a slumber, unless God, caring for you, sends you an other.”

In the three Magi, that section of mankind that worshipped creation rather than God the Creator placed reverently at the feet of the newly born Christ that flawed faith of the gentiles through the gifts of incense, gold, and myrrh and worshipped the new born God, king and man.

Wherefore, on seeing this, let us, who belong to Christ, harmoniously glorify with much thanksgiving: “All things are filled with joy today, Christ is born of the Virgin.”

The heavens above and the earth rejoice today, upon receiving their Creator as man; they wonder in ecstasy at the amorous, ineffable humility of God, who even took the form of a servant to save the race of Adam.
Let us, wherefore, hymn in resplendent joy, singing along with our Fathers: “Christ is born, give ye glory! Christ is come from heaven, receive ye Him!”

Beloved lovers of the feast, let us noetically meet the Great Visitor and Redeemer and let us hymn together with the angels in Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, good will towards men,” witnessing with wonder the inexpressible miracle of divine will fulfilled: “when the fulfillmment of days came” and “a strange and marvellous mystery … the cave is a heaven; the Virgin a cherubic throne.”

The divinely inspired melodes marvellously captured the majesty of the Mother of God in a few words: “O inexplicable wonder! That thou dost milk-feed the master.”

The Theotokos Maria is indeed an inexplicable wonder, uniting the heavens and the earth through her child, as a salvific ladder, leading mankind to the heavens. This is why mankind has a great obligation, insatiable unto the ages, to be ceaselessly grateful.
Let us, however, interpose from this ecumenical joy. It is necessary to draw attention to the dark part of our day: the estrangement of men from God to a way of life inferior even to that of the pre-Christian age. Added, moreover, to this is the banishment, abhorrent to God, of the divinely granted Orthodox faith from the Church!

The betrayal being wrought on behalf of unity with the Papists, regrettably, has its origin in the ecclesiastical office considered highest; in the divinely-conceded incumbant of the Ecumenical Throne and in his collaborating hierarchs—apart from the fact that he who is not Orthodox in faith is neither a Christian.
Beloved fellow celebrators,

The time has come for our sacred struggle on behalf of our beloved and unblemished Orthodox faith to be redeemed. The treacherous aims of the festal calendar reform in 1924 have been exposed plainly; that it was not on account of chronological exactitude but rather was a prelude to the betrayal perpetrated in our own day. The forewarnings of our fathers were, thus, proven true: “They made us Franks!”

Blessed are those that on the day of judgement will bear clearly on their foreheads in golden letters the words “Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy”. To them, the heavenly gates are open, as those fearing God and observing His divine and true commandments.

On the occasion of these things, we consider ourselves from our vantage point, fortunate pastors of a pious and divinely-minded flock, even if a small flock, in that, according to the Fathers, and the Great Maximus in particular, “the Church is not made up of multitudes; but let there be true faith and extremely few Orthodox Christians.”

Thus, rejoice beloved fellow feast-lovers, and be empowered in the Lord and in the power of his majesty. Pray to the Saviour, entreating on this great and bright feast: for divine support in the task assigned to us by Divine Providence; for the victorious conclusion of the sacred struggle against the cacodox marauders.
Accept my humble wishes for the new year in Lord of 2010, for peace from above and for health for you all, both bodily and spiritual, together with the festive greeting:

Christ is born! Our Saviour and Redeemer.

+ Archbishop Chrysostomos of Athens
Fervent supplicant for all before the Lord

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