Head of Russian Church: Independence Spells Freedom

On November 4, the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her highly revered icon of Kazan, which is celebrated as a state holiday — The Day of National Unity — His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, addressed the faithful after the Divine Liturgy with his sermon, wishing the Russian nation to keep independence based upon the spiritual and cultural legacy.

"May the Lord protect our Motherland and our Armed Forces. May He give wisdom to our civil authorities, helping us protect our sovereignty and our independence, by all possible ways and means. What I mean here is not only political sovereignty, but also our freedom — the capability to live by our own mind, stemming from the glorious spiritual and cultural inheritance of our people," said the Patriarch.

"By keeping the Faith, we also keep Russia. Living by the Orthodox Faith ensures that no one is offended, oppressed, or discredited in our land, since Orthodoxy is the spirit of freedom, and the spirit of love."

"This day we encounter no fewer challenges than in the past," said His Holiness. "Countless temptations, idols, lies, and false ideas are being set before us, trying to make us veer from our historical path, to make us betray Christ, betray our ancestors, to push us into the wake of alien leaders aiming at the darkness, heading into the gloom."

"The protection of the Blessed Virgin truly is spread over our land," concluded Patriarch Kirill, "but those who reject it, who ignore it, who do not wish to abide by its cover, who betray the legacy of our historical heroes, the freedom of our nation, and its unity — these have no part in its goodwill."