To His Eminence, the Very Most Reverend
Metropolitan of Minsk & Zaslavl’
Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus
Very Most Reverend Master!
I express my brotherly condolences on the repose of the long-time, universally beloved and respected spiritual father and first pastor of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, His Eminence, Metropolitan Philaret, Emeritus Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus.
The Very Most Reverend Vladyka Philaret was exceptional in his profound ecclesiality and education, his joy in the Lord and bold carrying out of his many labors, his prayerful nature and zealous love for the beauty of divine church services, serving as a fine example for many generations of archpastors, clergymen, and seminarians. His Eminence was for many a bright and vivid example of the attentive archpastor, with a great heart, a consoling sense of humor, and a soft smile that bolstered those around him. The pious service, eloquence, pastoral approach to his neighbor, and chaste image of Metropolitan Philaret of blessed repose reminded me of one of the bishops of the old school of the Russian Church Abroad ‒ Archbishop Anthony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva & Western Europe, a student of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who tonsured him, and a fellow laborer of the Holy Hierarch John, Wonderworker of Shanghai & San Francisco.
Sharing the grief of the archpastors, pastors, and the entire God-loving flock of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, I pray together with the fullness of the Russian Church Abroad for the repose of the newly departed Metropolitan Philaret, that the consolation of Christ be sent down upon all, that tranquil and otherworldly peace hymned by the angels over the city of Bethlehem on the holy night of the Nativity.
Asking your holy prayers, I remain with brotherly love in the Lord,
Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.