Greetings of Serbian Patriarch Irinej to the newly-elected Pope

His Holiness
Pope  F R A N C I S 

Vatican City

Your Holiness,

Filled with the spiritual joy on the occasion of Your election as the new Bishop of the ancient and glorious city of Rome – The Head of all Roman-Catholics throughout the world, We extend to You Our sincere congratulations.

God’s will is that all nations may know the One who is the true Way, Truth and Life – the only One who lovest mankind, Lord Jesus Christ. He, being the Savior of the World and the Deliverer from the darkness of sins, in Your personality acquires a new spiritual petitioner before His Throne.

Your priestly service will be followed by a great burden of tribulations of this world – measuring humanly perhaps immeasurable. However, we are all invited to follow Christ’s commandment: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mt. 11:29-30)

The image of human dignity is clearly decaying before the pressures of various injustices, invasive wars, unfounded threats of totalitarian regimes and authorities which consider not the future of this world, let alone think about Christ’s Heavenly Kingdom.

Therefore, we offer our prayers to the Lord Jesus Christ to grant You abundance of His mercy and spiritual strength for Your new ministry to which the Holy Spirit called You upon , so You can prevail on the path of the Gospel with the Lord’s message to the world and the greeting that He would always greet His disciples with: Peace be with you!

Your Holiness, we hold firmly to the hope that You also, as Your Highly Esteemed Predecessor, searching for peace and justice, which this world needs more than anything else, will remain on the track of brotherly love and steady support to the Orthodox Serbian people in our great efforts to preserve territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia in the crisis of unilaterally proclamation of independence of the so-called “Republic of Kosovo”.

Wishing to Your Holiness, Your Christ-loving clergy, as well as to all Roman-Catholic faithful throughout the World, every good thing from the Giver of all that is good, once again we greet You cordially and remain in the love of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ,

Serbian Patriarch

I r i n e j