His Eminence Archbishop Leo of Karelia and All Finland marked the 35th anniversary of his episcopal service with the solemn Hierarchal Liturgy on February 25th 2014.
His Eminence Archbishop Leo of Karelia and All Finland marked the 35th anniversary of his episcopal service with the solemn Hierarchal Liturgy.His Eminence, clergy and students of the Orthodox Seminary of Finland gathered at the church of John Theologian in Orthodox Seminary of Finland Joensuu on February 25th 2014.
Divine liturgy was presided by Archbishop Leo Of Finland and His Eminence Athenagoras, Metropolitan of Belgium, and Exarch of Benelux, representing His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the anniversary.
Metropolitan Athenagoras greeted Archbishop Leo of Finland with the message of His All-Holiness.
"It is with great joy that we communicate with Your Eminence on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of your consecration to the episcopacy.
Words of praise sound in joyous celebration from the historic and martyric Mother Church of Constantinople on this splendid occasion. Words of fraternal commendation are expressed to a devoted hierarch of the First Throne of Orthodoxy, whose hierarchical ministry spanning over three decades we celebrate today. Sentiments of paternal pride fill our heart as we reflect on the spiritual triumphs of your dedicated service to Christ and to His Holy Church, and we hasten to exclaim again and again our warmest congratulations and wholehearted prayers.
Throughout your admirable tenure, you have tended to the faithful under your spiritual care with great love and compassion. You sensitively weaved into the fabric of their souls the precious gems and diamonds of the Great Church's spiritual inheritance, and also cultivated a deep love and eternal longing for all that is "good and profitable for their souls," a longing for the eternal treasures where, as so eloquently expressed in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, "neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal."
Honoring, therefore, today the love and spiritual discernment of your ministry, we are pleased to share with you our delight, having personally witnessed once again the great reciprocation of the love to you by your flock during our visit last September. The experience of witnessing this most moving display of paternal love and its filial reciprocation has left in our hearts a truly blessed impression.
For this and all that you do in the service of Christ and the souls entrusted to your archpastoral leadership, we congratulate you, our dear concelebrant in the Lord, and encourage you to continue to foster this koinonia, which you have so adamantly cultivated in the Orthodox Church of Finland through your zeal and commitment to safeguarding our sacred Tradition.
In praying that Your Eminence is blessed with many more years of health and strength, we beseech the Good Shepherd to ceaselessly bestow heavenly gifts upon you so that you may continue mending, healing, leading and protecting His sheep who desire to find "green pastures" and "still waters" in order to restore their souls. May you always "lead them in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 19th of February, 2014
Your Eminence's beloved brother in the Lord, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
Archbishop Leo (Makkonen) of Karelia and All Finland (b. June 4, 1948) was consecrated Bishop of Joensuu at the Sunday of Orthodoxy on 25 February 1979.
The episcopal consecration was presided by Archbishop Paul (Olmari, +1988) of Finland, Metropolitan Damaskinos (Papandreou, +2011) of Switzerland, Metropolitan John (Rinne +2010) of Helsinki and Archbishop Kirill (Gundyaev) of Vyborg.
Before election to the head of Church of Finland in 2001, His Eminence Leo served as Metropolitan of Oulu (1980-1996) and Helsinki (1996-2001).