Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2017)

The commemoration of Saint Basil the Great on this day provides us with an example of holiness, leadership, and service that embodies this theme. From his prayerful manner of life and his deep faith and spiritual insight, we see a man who knew Christ and lived in His presence. Through his sermons, theological treatises, and pastoral diakonia he was the voice of Christ. He lived during a time marked by theological controversies and transitions related to Christianity and the Church. Many people had significant physical and spiritual needs. In this very challenging and changing period, Saint Basil offered wisdom, comfort, and guidance by the grace of God.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2016)

As we dedicate the year and our lives to the holy will of God, it also is fitting at the beginning of this year 2016 that we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ministry of His All-Holiness our beloved Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. This is truly a significant event for our Holy Archdiocese and for Orthodox Christianity, as this time has included tremendous changes and challenges in our world. In the apostolic spirit of Saint Basil and many other Saints and Hierarchs, His All Holiness has provided spiritual guidance from a foundation of deep faith in God and a commitment to His will. He has offered compassionate pastoral leadership from his experience and understanding of the power of the grace of God. He has adeptly addressed critical issues using the great theological and liturgical heritage of our Orthodox Christian faith. Our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has led and continues to lead faithful around the world in offering a true witness of the blessed life we have in Christ and of an enduring hope that rests on the promises of God.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2015)

On this blessed Feast of Saint Basil and the beginning of the New Year, our honored tradition is to offer prayers and support for the sacred ministry of our beloved Saint Basil Academy. For seventy years this institution of our Holy Archdiocese has offered the love of Christ, the comfort of His presence, and the healing power of faith to children, youth, and families in need. Serving Orthodox children from throughout the United States, Saint Basil Academy continues to provide a caring and spiritual environment where they are able to grow, learn, and achieve.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2014)

Thus, at the beginning of this new year and the beginning of each and every day, our hope must rest securely in Christ. We might anticipate what may come in the months ahead, but our anticipation should come from a foundation of hope in the will and power of God. This is a hope that cannot be quenched or extinguished. It is a hope that can withstand any struggle or challenge that may come. It is a hope that can carry our souls to great spiritual heights when the wondrous and marvelous work of God is revealed.
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Encyclical for the Feast of St. Basil and the New Year (01/01/2013)

As we come to the beginning of a new calendar year, we are very familiar with the atmosphere of expectations and hopes for new beginnings that pervades our modern world. With the changing of a number and the turning of a calendar page, many people seek to leave behind experiences and challenges of the past year and look forward to a new year and the possibility of new opportunities and better circumstances in life. Others are thankful for the events and memories of the year that has passed, and greet the new year with anticipation of greater things to come.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2012)

As we begin this new year, with the blessings of our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church, we give thanks to Him for His abiding presence with us. It is in Christ’s presence that we find the grace to transform our lives and restore our communion with God. In His presence we know the truth of the Gospel and the endurance of hope, and we experience the forgiveness and mercy that sets us free from the bondage of sin and death. In Christ, we find enduring joy in the assurance of His eternal promises and peace in the comfort of His love. As His people and His servants, we are granted wisdom and strength to offer a witness of hope and ministries of compassion and healing.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2011)

The conclusion of one calendar year and the beginning of another is a time filled with reflection and anticipation. It is a time when we look back over the past year and consider our challenges and joys, our highlights and struggles, and our accomplishments as well as the tasks that are not completed. It is also a time when we look ahead to a new year with a sense of anticipation, contemplating what may come, planning our activities, and hoping for health and happiness.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2010)

We greet the beginning of this new year and the end of the first decade of the new millennium in the grace and strength of our Lord. The coming of the New Year is always accompanied by a variety of emotions and concerns, as well as goals and plans. It is a time for reflecting on the past and anticipating what the year may bring. As we look back and forward in our thoughts, it is essential that we be mindful of the centrality of Christ and our spiritual well-being in all that we do. For reflection and anticipation are both characteristics of our lives as Orthodox Christians.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2009)

On this first day of the New Year 2009, our Holy Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Basil the Great, one of our foremost Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs of the early Church. Our honoring of the life and legacy of Saint Basil on this New Year comes at a particularly salient time in the life of our Church and society, for this great Saint of our Church presents to us the embodiment par excellence of the virtue of philanthropy.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2008)

On the first day of the New Year we commemorate the life and legacy of Saint Basil the Great, the ecumenical Hierarch and Teacher of our Church who is renowned for a brilliant intellectual and spiritual legacy that continues to shine universally. Saint Basil was not only a figure of towering intellectual prowess; he was equally renowned for his vigorous pursuits and tangible successes in establishing charitable institutions, orphanages, and hospitals outside the ancient city of Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he served as bishop. Appropriately, the complex of these institutions bore his name, "the Basileias." Today, the "Basileias" remains a considerable achievement in the field of philanthropy that attracts the attention and study not only of Church historians, but also more generally of sociologists and other professionals in related fields such as public health. This reality serves to remind us that many people today are looking to history and specifically to our Orthodox Christian legacy for blueprints upon which they can build comprehensive institutions of care for contemporary times and needs.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2007)

As Greek Orthodox Christians, we enter this New Year with the joyous celebration of the Feast of Saint Basil, a much beloved and venerated Ecumenical Teacher and Great Hierarch of our Church whose life in the fourth century continues to serve as a model worthy for emulation by all Christians. Saint Basil is revered with a special prominence worldwide in the Holy Orthodox Church for the saintly life which he lived, for his astonishing work, and for his acts of extraordinary kindness and goodwill to the sick, the downtrodden, and the marginalized.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2006)

The commencement of the New Year is always an opportune time to consider the abiding presence of Christ and His love in our midst. As we look forward to the hopes and challenges of the New Year, this time is certainly an opportunity to renew our minds with a spirit of Christian hope and positive thinking, to take care of our bodily health through sound exercise and nutrition, to become more conscious of our duties to protect our natural environment, and to grow in our Orthodox Christian faith through our acts of love, worship, and service to others.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2005)

As Greek Orthodox faithful we commemorate on the first day of each New Year the life and legacy of Saint Basil the Great, a revered ecumenical Hierarch and Teacher of our Church whose renowned intellectual and spiritual legacy has shone brilliantly for centuries.
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Encyclical for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2004)

At the beginning of the New Year we celebrate the Feast of Saint Basil the Great, a revered hierarch and great theologian of our Church whose life was an exemplary offering of love, wisdom, and worship. Today, the legacy of Saint Basil continues to inspire us in our offerings of ministry and care to others within our communities.
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Encyclical on the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2003)

By the infinite mercy and grace of God, we welcome the beginning of another year of worship and ministry in His loving presence. Each year, people from many cultures, religions, and nations mark the arrival of this day with a renewed spirit of optimism, comforted in the light of the dawn of the New Year and encouraged with hope to take further steps along the path of peace and reconciliation. As Orthodox Christians, our own efforts to promote loving relations within our world and within our immediate communities are vital, as we strive to follow the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mt. 5:9) and the apostolic exhortation “love one another fervently from the heart” (I Peter 1:22).
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Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year (01/01/2001)

At the inception of this new millennium I invite you to reflect on another beginning that occurred almost two thousand years ago in the days following the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Holy Apostles at Pentecost. The Holy Scriptures tell us that upon hearing the witness of the Gospel of Christ thousands believed, were baptized, and joined together in worship and ministry (Acts 2). The community of faith, the koinonia of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:9) was visibly established and consequently extended throughout the world through missionary endeavors.
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