the mercy of God Archbishop of Constantinople
New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch:
unto the entire plentitude of the Church
Grace, Mercy and Peace from Christ our Saviour, Risen in
Christ is Risen!
"Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, so that we too might walk in newness of life " (Rom.
The triumphant exclamation, "Christ is Risen," the
victory cry against death and hades, is joyfully repeated
today by myriads of faithful Christians around the world.
"The Church, shedding her mournful attire, clothes herself
in a white and radiant garment, which shines as if
reflecting the brightness of the Angel who rolled away the
stone from the tomb," wrote Alexandros Papadiamantis, that
most pious story-teller of Skiathos, the 150th anniversary
of whose birth and 90th of his passing we commemorate this
The Church of Christ celebrates, as the mouths of the
faithful, filled with joy, cry aloud, "The Lord is risen!"
For we know that "Christ, being raised from the dead, will
never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him"
(Rom. 6:9). And what is more, webelieve and we know that,
since we have been buried with Christ by baptism, we will
live with Him in eternity. This is the meaning of salvation,
this is the cause of our joy and the reason for our Paschal
festivities. The new life in Christ is already a reality.
The life of the faithful after the Resurrection of Christ is
not the same as life before it. The Holy Spirit has already
descended and has made the Church its dwelling. Our life
already is enriched by the Divine Grace, and is being
brought to perfection by the uncreated energies of the
Godhead, which benefit and renew us in many and varied
This great gift of God to us, however, calls for a
response on our part, an expression of our gratitude and
love toward Him; namely, the reception of this gift, the
acceptance of the resurrected life offered to us, by means
of living a life worthy of our calling, by walking in
newness of life. For the Resurrection of Christ will become
a reality for each of us personally only if we identify with
Christ and are buried with Him in a death, like His, to sin.
Thus we may live with Him in God, being reborn in the Holy
Spirit and continuously cleansed by Him, having Him dwelling
This newness of life, the new life into which the
Resurrection of Christ leads us, is a life lived in
accordance with Divine Grace, a life led, with our consent
and cooperation, by the Holy Spirit.
The world has opened up for us. Its borders are no longer
those of material reality. Our interests are not confined to
created nature. We aspire to a life beyond bodily
restrictions. We prepare ourselves for eternity.
When seen from the perspective of the Resurrection, the
events of this world take on new dimensions. The sorrows
with which we are confronted are shown to be transitory in
nature. The burden of human mishaps becomes lighter when
seen through the eyes of hope. The God-given joys of this
life are sanctified and experienced as a foretaste of that
eternal joy which no one can take away from us. Ourwhole
life is transformed into something new; a life different
from that lived by people far from God. The joy and
certainty of the Resurrection prevail within us, and arm us
with courage, with optimism, with concern and love for our
fellow human beings and for all creation.
Beloved children in Christ,
The Resurrection is a reality that does not leave our
life unaffected. It is the foundation of hope, of
creativity, of love, of our concern for all and for
everything, and of our joy in Christ, which cannot be taken
With paternal love we pray that all experience the joy of
the Resurrection in its fullness and live "in newness of
life," guided and consecrated by the Divine Grace, which
heals the sick and makes up for what is lacking.
To Christ our true God, Who rose from the dead and
granted us new life, are due thanksgiving, glory and honour
to the ages. Amen.
Your fervent supplicant before the Risen Lord
+Bartholomew of Constantinople
Protocol No. 241