Christmas greetings from Bishop Silvanus of Peterhof, Rector of St. Petersburg Theological Academy of The Russian Orthodox Church, to Bishop Ivan Laptev
Right Reverend Bishop,
I sincerely wish you a joyful Feast of the Nativity of Christ! Something never before seen was fulfilled—God became man. The things predicted by the Old Testament righteous men and prophets became a reality. “Christ is born; glorify Him!” says the canon of the feast. And echoing the host of heaven, we exclaim with jubilant hearts, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” [Luke 2:14, KJV]
The first people to learn about the miracle of the Nativity were shepherds. They were scared by the exultation of the angels and the angel of God said to them, “Fear not!” (Lk. 2:10, ESV) Today, in a time of trials, it is important for us to remember those words and not fear the storms in the sea of life. The Child Christ came into this world to break the fetters of sin and to set man free.
On this holy day, on my own behalf and on behalf of the faculty, students and staff of St. Petersburg Theological Academy, I wish you a merry Christmas! May the Divine Baby born now bless you with peace and good health in the coming year and may the unfading light of the Star of Bethlehem accompany you in all your work!
With love in Christ who was born,
Bishop of Peterhof
Rector, St. Petersburg Theological Academy