Beloved in the Lord Brother and Concelebrant,
With all my heart I greet you on the occasion of your 70th birthday.
The celebrations marking this memorable date offer an opportunity when taking a look at your life journey, to praise God for His lavish mercies and ask Him to bless your new endeavours to the glory of His name.
The worthiest son of the pious Romanian people, you followed our Lord Jesus Christ at a time when faith suffered oppression when afflictions and hardships awaited all those who decided to devote themselves to serving the Holy Church.
The All-Wise God Who honours them that honour Him (cf. 1 Sam. 2:30) revealed to the world your manifold talents. The intense scholarly activities which you had commenced under the guidance of an outstanding Romanian theologian, Father Dumitru Stăniloae, earned you wide recognition as an authoritative scholar and church educator.
We have known each other for a very long time measured in decades. Bringing us together were demanding obediences entrusted to us by our respective Churches and a fervent wish inspired in us by our mentors to devote ourselves to the strengthening of the holy paternal faith.
I can state with certainty that over the years of your archpastoral and Patriarchal service you have done much for the edifying of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). Under Your Beatitude’s omophorion the Romanian Orthodox Church today is actively developing its missionary, social and youth ministry, bearing witness to the love of God and to the truths of the Gospel, revealing them to the mind and heart of every man that cometh into the world (Jn. 1:9). Through your efforts, a majestic cathedral was built in the centre of Bucharest as a symbol of the imperishable importance of holy Orthodoxy in the past, present and future of Romania.
Your Beatitude, on this momentous occasion please accept my sincere wishes of bountiful spiritual and bodily strength, daring in your Primatial prayers for your blessed flock, and unfailing inspiration and inexhaustible help from above in your Patriarchal ministry.
May the All-Generous Lord preserve you in good health and peace for many years.
With brotherly love in Christ,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia