Usually, we see and hear high-ranking figures like the Patriarch in an official setting: at the pulpit or church ambo, at a ceremonial reception or the like. This short video, however, captures Patriarch Kirill in an informal talk with a group of bishops, with whom he shares some of his recollections from a bygone era.
Patriarch Kirill was meeting with the top clergy of Kazakhstan who have recently come under pressure from globalist forces to break with the Russian church; they stood with Russia, and Kirill was praising them for doing the right thing, advising them to not fear these pressures from the globalists.
The experience which he describes has had a profound impact on his personality and, willy-nilly, on the Russian Orthodox Church of which he is a Primate… And let us face it: inasmuch about 70% of the Russian population would identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, the bequest of Patriarch’s Grandfather is shared by the whole Russian nation. To a large measure at least.
Please make sure to turn on the captions on this video and choose English – or whatever language you prefer: there is a choice to make from. Here goes the text of the pertinent section:
My grandfather lived a terrible life from the point of view of a modern person: he went through 46 prisons and seven exiles, spent most of his life in prison – and not because he was a criminal, but because he fought against moderinist, was an ardent supporter of Patriarch Tikhon, resisted the shutdown of Orthodox churches.
All this was in the 20-30s of the last century, when one could suffer death for that. When he was over 70 years old, he was ordained, served in Bashkiria, in a remote village, and, being a very old man, walked 10-15 kilometers on foot in the mountains to give Communion to his parishioners. When my grandfather was already completely weak, he returned to his family, for his wife, already an old woman, could not go with him to Bashkiria.
Shortly before his death, I visited him. I have told this story a number of times and I will tell you. He was already dying, but he was in his right mind, he could say everything, and he admonished me with these words: “Never be afraid of anything in this life. Fear only God”.
If some armchair scientist-professor had told me this, I would have thought: well, okay. But if a person went through so many prisons and exiles, then it was clear he knew what he was talking about. I would like to convey to you the words of my grandfather: “Never be afraid of anything”.
Do not ask for trouble, do not provoke conflicts, but don’t be afraid. Fear is a mood incompatible with Bishop’s service. As soon as fear appears, apply for retirement right away. Have you been scared to death, knocked down, – your retirement application will be accepted.
Once again, I am saying: there is no need to parade your audacity, to provoke conflicts, – nothing of the sort! We must humbly, calmly perform our service, but never be afraid of any external circumstances.
And in order not to be afraid, we must remember our predecessors, the New Martyrs, confessors of the Russian Church. Had they been afraid in their time, then, probably, everyone would have become detractors, apostates, and the Russian Church would have been no more...