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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, sent the following message to Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, congratulating him on the 20th anniversary of his enthronement:

Your Beatitude,

Kindly accept my sincere and warm congratulations on the 20th anniversary of your primatial enthronization.

Twenty years ago the Lord installed you on the high candlestick of the ministry as Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church. During these years, using the rich experience of your missionary and educational work, you have sown the good seed of the Gospel’s teaching in Albania’s spiritual field. The fruits of this sowing are visible to all. These are the numerous faithful flock, the right church organization, the established system of theological education, the active work with the youth, broad charitable and social service, restored and constructed churches and monasteries and many other things. After the terrible persecution of the previous decades, the preaching of the good news of Christ, through your efforts, has been re-asserted in the land of Old Illyria.

Combining the lofty primatial ministry with academic theological and social work, you set your flock a vivid example of the fulfilment of the two greatest commandments given us by God – the commandment of the wholehearted love of God and that of the selfless love of our neighbour (Mt. 22:37-40).

Once again I congratulate Your Beatitude on this auspicious date and prayerfully wish you spiritual strength, physical soundness and all-powerful help of God in all your good initiatives, and to the Albanian Orthodox Church I wish further growth and prosperity.

With respectful love in the Lord,

+ Hilarion

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk


Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate