To the Synod of Bishops
of the Russian Church Abroad
Your Eminences and Your Graces:
During these days of universal joy in the Resurrection of Christ, we learned of the death of our beloved Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and sadness and sorrow filled our hearts.
Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion was a humble monk, a genuine man of prayer, a zealous servant, a kind archpastor, but most of all, he was a Christian person.
Patriarch Pavle of blessed repose would say that if each of us tries to simply be a humane person, then the world would become Eden, because when we behave humanely, we then become the kind of people for whom the Lord created Eden. I believe that Metropolitan Hilarion was genuinely humane. Following the example of his saintly predecessor, Metropolitan Laurus, Vladyka Hilarion served as an example of monastic life to all the bishops of North America, cherishing the unity of Orthodox Christians with his care for the Church. His kindness, humility and simplicity served as an example to us all. Vladyka was also a great friend of the Serbian people. Defending them during NATO’s aggression in 1999, His Eminence would visit Serbian parishes and blessed the Serbs to pray for their churches, exhibiting love for a multitude of refugees. Our Serbian people will never forget his love.
We pray to the Risen Lord, our Savior, that He receives the soul of dear Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion into His eternal abodes, and that our sorrow will be turned to joy. Eternal memory to him! May God bless him and grant him rest!
Your brother and concelebrant in the Risen Christ.
Bishop of New Gracanica and the Mid-Western America
(Serbian Orthodox Church)