His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Address to Metropolitan Methodios of Boston On the Occasion of His Patronal Feast
June 14, 2020
Greek Orthodox Church
Your Eminence Metropolitan Methodios,
Beloved Brother in Christ and Co-celebrant in the Holy Spirit:
I wanted my presence today to be a surprise for Your Eminence, but with all the issues surrounding our church gatherings, even this occasion of your Name Day required more preparation than spontaneity. Nevertheless, I am delighted to be with you today to observe Your Eminence’s Patronal Feast, and to wish you “Many Years!”
I congratulate you warmly and pray for your length of days and spiritual prosperity. Your Heavenly Patron, Patriarch Methodios, is truly an example to emulate. As you know so well, he lived through the final and tumultuous days of Iconoclasm, that generational struggle to preserve what so many take for granted today, the meaning and presence of the Holy Icons in our churches and spiritual life. He endured prison and exile for his integrity, and suffered at the hands of his government as he tried, and ultimately triumphed, to preserve the Orthodox Faith of Christ.
During our pastoral challenges in this time of pandemic, from which we are not yet free, I am sure that Your Eminence has recalled Saint Methodios, as have I. How he navigated between the Scylla of obeying the orders and laws of the State, and the Charybdis of dealing with extremists within and without the Church, is a true lesson in Arch-Pastoral leadership.
Although his Patriarchy was short, only four years, it was he who led the restoration of the Holy Icons in the Church and put a seal upon the issue of their usage that lasts until this very day. One can only imagine the level of nuance, skill, and diplomacy that he employed with Emperors, courtiers, ministers and even the military, as he maintained without exception, his devotion to the truth of the Orthodox Faith.
You have also shown these very virtues throughout your many years of service to the Great Church of Christ and this Holy Archdiocese, as you have not only shepherded this God-protected Metropolis of Boston, but have also made a deep and lasting impression on the Holy Eparchial Synod with your wise counsel.
You recognize that it is not only the authority that comes with our high office, but the wisdom that we must cultivate within ourselves, that is what places us in the mold of Saint Methodios. And especially in these days, we need that wisdom to guide us, so that we can guide our flocks to verdant pastures of faith, hope, and love.
Therefore, I came to Boston today to be with you, to pray with you and to pray for you.
That the Lord our God may grant unto Your Eminence many more years of health, prosperity, and spiritual blessedness.
That He may grant you the joy of knowing your ministry has been worthy of your Heavenly Patron, Methodios of Constantinople, who has been your inspiration and exemplar these many years.
And that you may always know the peace that passes all understanding, that it may fill your heart and mind, and secure you in your confidence of the Orthodox Faith, this day and forever.
Εἰς Πολλά Ἒτη!