Your Holiness, Dear Brother and Concelebrant beloved in the Lord!
I would like to greet you cordially on the occasion of the commemoration day of your heavenly patron, St. Bartholomew, Apostle of Christ. Preserved by Holy Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church, the precious testimony to his calling for apostleship, works of preaching and courageous death reveals the image of a true labourer in God’s field and a model to be emulated by all of us.
With special warmth I remember your recent visit to the Russian Orthodox Church during which we experienced a joy of standing together in prayer before God’s altar when we concelebrated the Divine Liturgy, venerated Orthodox shrines in Russia and had fraternal talks on various issues of church life.
To your primatial greeting ‘Christ is amidst us!’ the Holy Russia joyfully responds from all her corners, ‘He is and will be!’ Our hearts still resound with the echo of your sincere and warm words: “We are real brothers born from one mother, nourished by the same milk, preserving and confessing ‘with one heart and mouth’ the faith that has been handed down to us by saints”.
Your Holiness, I wholeheartedly wish you sound health, peace, blessed long life and all-powerful help from God in your important and highly demanding patriarchal service for the good of the Holy Church of Constantinople.
With brotherly love in the Lord,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
June 11, 2010