14 December 2013

The Head of the House of Romanoff Congratulates Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk.

The Head of the House of Romanoff Congratulates Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk.

From the Head of the Russian Imperial House

To His Eminence Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk,

Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus,

Permanent Member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church


I send my heartfelt congratulations to you on the Feast Day of your Heavenly Protector, St. Filaret the Merciful, and on the 35th anniversary of your episcopacy in the Minsk Eparchy.

Haven chosen early in your youth to follow a path of service to the Holy Church, which was still then being persecuted, you have had to endure many difficult trials and labors. Over the course of three and a half decades as archpastor of the Orthodox flock in Belarus, you have fulfilled your episcopal duties with unswerving faith, piety, wisdom, and zeal—serving God and His people, making a significant contribution to the restoration and preservation of Orthodox spiritual and moral values, and strengthening the historic ties between the peoples of Belarus and Russia.

Along with the important dates that we are markingthis year —the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia and the 400th anniversary of the ending of the Time of Troubles and the ascension to the throne of the House of Romanoff—I remember yet one more important anniversary taking place this year. It was exactly 100 years ago—on the 300th anniversary of the Romanoff dynasty—that the Holy Passion-Bearer Emperor Nicholas II made your grandfather, Alexander IvanovichVakhromeev, the chief administrator of the city of Yaroslav and a well-known philanthropist whobuilt many churches in his day, a hereditary nobleman of the Russian Empire. And so for nearly an entire century, your family, the Vakhromeev family, has been “noble born,” remaining faithful to the historical precepts of Holy Russia and to the glorious traditions of your family.

Greatly valuing your services to the Russian Orthodox Church and to the nation, and in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the restoration of the Russian State by the Great Assembly of the Land of 1613, I am sending you with this letter the Imperial Medals “Anniversary of the Nation’s Victory, 1613-2013” and the “Commemorative Medal of the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanoff,” along with the documentation affirming your right to wear them.

With all my heart, I wish you health, many years, and almighty God’s help in all your endeavors.

Asking your archpastoral blessing and prayers for me and for my son and heir, Grand Duke George of Russia, I remain ever yours respectfully,

H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

New York, December 1/14, 2013

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