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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent a letter to Metropolitan Grigorij of Vratsa on the occasion of his 50th birthday. The text of the message is given below.

Your Eminence,

Dear Vladyka,

Please accept my cordial greetings with your 50th birthday.

Being a spiritual disciple of the elder Metropolitan Nathaniel of blessed memory, you went “from strength to strength” (Ps 84:7), with humility and zeal carrying out obediences in the diocese of Nevrokop, serving as protosynkellos and vicar of the diocese of Sofia, and later as rector of the Troyan Monastery.

You are celebrating this memorable date at the ancient See of Vratsa, glorified by the ascetic deeds of St. Sophronius and other zealots of the holy paternal Orthodox faith.

On the day of your jubilee I prayerfully wish to Your Eminence good health and unceasing help from Christ the Divine Chief Pastor, so that for many years in peace and welfare you may rightly divide the word of His truth for the good of your God-loving flock and the whole Bulgarian Orthodoxy.

With brotherly love in the Lord,


Metropolitan of Volokolamsk


Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate