“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father”, says Saint John the Evangelist (John 1:14).
Your Beatitude, Your Eminences,
Members of the Brotherhood of Saint James:
It is precisely this very fact that “the Word became flesh” i.e. of the Mystery of the divine economy, that we celebrate in this festive Christmas and Epiphany season.
We as monastic fraternities and Christian communities have been blessed to be a living and worshiping witness of the sacred history, the history of the salvation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Holy Land.
Today, Your Beatitude, we have come to congratulate you personally, and your venerable fraternity on the occasion of Christmas, according to your ancient liturgical tradition.
Bethlehem and Jerusalem are synonymous with feasts and celebrations related to Our Lord Jesus Christ’s salvational earthly life. Ours is the task to guard and sustain this unique Christian heritage and sacred tradition. For the eyes of the world community, regardless of race or religious affiliation, are turned to us for moral encouragement and spiritual refreshment, especially over the great festival of Christ’s birth.
In the wake of unprecedented challenges to our region and the unforeseeable future, we must keep at the forefront of our minds our common goal and spiritual mission.
We take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year with full health and strength from above.
May the Incarnate Word, the Light of Knowledge and the Sun of Justice enlighten your mind and warm your heart so that you may lead your flock for many years.
Christ is Born!
Patriarch of Jerusalem