In a fitting address by Mr. Filip Tintoski to His Grace Bishop of Antania, Mr. Partenij, on behalf of the “Metropolitan Kozma of Preshchitsa” choir, at the Christmas and New Year’s musical in the “Kocho Racin” Cultural Center in Kichevo, on January 1/14, in the year of our Savior 2024
His Grace, Holy Bishop, our Beloved Elder, and most cherished spiritual Father, Mr. Partenij!
However modest they may be, all our thanks and praises fall short of the magnificent and beautiful work you have done and continue to tirelessly do for us, for God’s Church, and for our people and homeland.
Our hearts wonder what praise to express for your sacrifice, as you, following the example of Christ, have borne your cross, in which all our smaller crosses are contained, and you are continually crucified on it for us, to bear us in Christ, to nurture us, to engender faith in us, so that through your sacrifice and prayers, our good Savior Christ may grant us resurrection of the soul, eternal joy, and delight in His Kingdom.
If we closely observe the Nativity of Christ, there we find many things that remind us of you.
Firstly, the humble Birth of Christ in a modest cave, which in you we see through your constant humility before us, always with so much love, understanding, embrace for the whole world, and non-judgment.
You are our guiding Star leading us always towards Christ, showing Him as He truly is: sweetest, dearest, most loving.
You are our shelter in our attacks, sins, and falls, always ready to cover us with your loving mantle, to forgive us, to protect us from the spiritual enemy.
Like the Angels of the Nativity, you bring us joy and announce, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men,” always teaching us to glorify God and to be at peace with all, even loving our enemies.
Your faith, hope, and love, emanating from Christ God and firmly standing for eternity and immortality, are akin to the three gifts of the Wise Men offered to Christ.
You are our example and a living testament to Christ’s faith, in whom Christ’s words are fulfilled: “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:11, King James Bible). Indeed, those who are of Christ, who have Christ within them, are persecuted in this world but always triumph, for Christ is the One who always prevails.
As a token of gratitude, symbolically, as to our shepherd, guiding star, and for your parental cross-like self-sacrifice, we ask you to accept from us, the “Metropolitan Kozma of Preshchitsa” choir, this humble gift, a cross for blessing. May you always bless us with it and pray for us.
We wish you good health, may God strengthen you and renew your strength, for countless more such magnificence as you have created so far, and joy and happiness to all! We love you immeasurably!
For many years! Christ is born!