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In Memory of our Blessed Metropolitan Paul Saliba

This photograph is his Eminence Metropolitan Paul (Saliba). He passed away to the Lord about three days ago. Aged about 78. He was the bishop for Australia & most of the Southern Hemisphere Churches under Antioch.

Forgive me for not being too precise. No doubt details will be in a booklet which the Antiochian Archdiocese must print ASAP. I say “must”, otherwise another righteous one will soon be forgotten – a modern trend which began in the twentieth century & is designed to deliberately obliterate the lives of the saints and of those who expended their energy on promoting genuine Original Christianity.

His Eminence ordained me onto the priest hood in early 2000, on Trinity Sunday. Henceforth we developed a rather truthful relationship with each other. I would advise him on various, usually esoteric issues and he would use his wisdom to quickly resolve some bother that I had from time to time. A few words and all fell into place.
There were of course enemies that tried to destroy our unique relationship, but thanks be to the Lord Who scattered these machinations.

The Metropolitan reposed during the Apostles Fast & during the days of the repose of Holy Hierarch John (1966) – possibly the holiest man of the twentieth century, as well as the repose of the spiritual father of our English mission (2014), Abbot Hieromonk Herman of Platina, the mentor & spiritual father of Blessed Father Seraphim Rose. These are not coincidences, but God’s Providence in action.

Some will surely attack his Eminence through the Canons & by judging him for appearing too “loose” in his missionary activities. The truth of these will be revealed in due course. Certainly one would have to have a loose screw, if they did not recognise his Eminence’s magnum opus; “Antiochian Village”. Imagine the prayer state that he had to walk in, to make such a project come to fruition.

I have said too much. Forgive me. Just one point you should all keep close to your hearts, actually two. His Eminence was not a vindictive, nor revengeful person, but one of a kind heart once you found it
And finally remember that the Antiochian Archdiocese is barely 100 years old, after being under numerous destructive forces for over 1000 years. One would be very unfair to judge this against the centuries of refinement that the other jurisdictions possess.

With love in Christ
Fr Vladimir

Fr Vladimir’s message to Metropolitan Paul last year, June 30 2016:

Our dear Eminence, Metropolitan Paul
We say again

On behalf of our small English language mission, of Saint Herman of Alaska and of the Dormition of the Theotokas, we are sending you our prayers and the Apostolic grace from the Apostles Peter and Paul, which we know has been bestowed upon your Eminence, to grant you many years, but also the energy and holy creativity, to continue and to increase in the fruitfulness, which you have brought to Australia and other places of the Lord’s Southern Hemisphere.

Be assured always of our support and brotherly love towards yourself, even though we lament that we do not see you as often as we would wish. This we attribute to and rejoice in the fact that the Lord has you as a “prisoner”, on freely executing His Holy Will. This, anyone wishing to see, can easily observe, on account of the Orthodox growth that has occurred since the coverage by your Omophorion.

May we all live to see another Feastday of your’s and may it show forth an exponential increase in the Orthodox fruitfulness which is so needed in our apostate times, to overcome and put to shame the evil powers’ power, which mistakingly believe they have, when in fact they flee in great confusion, even at the slightest vision of the Precious and Life-giving Cross. And even more so at the utterance of ;

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the sinner.

Again, many years Master. Pray for us all.

Your unworthy
Fr Vladimir (Ivlenkov) and Parish.


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