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The First Papal Sermon of H.H. Pope Kyrillos VI

A translation of the First Papal Sermon of His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI, delivered at his enthronement by the late Metropolitan Anba Lucas — May 10, 1959.

Our beloved brethren, the fathers, the metropolitans and bishops, and our dear children, the priests and deacons and all the people everywhere in the See of St. Mark. Grace and blessing and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I thank my good God, the Lord of Glory, who has called me and chosen my weakness for this holy service, not worthily, but out of the abundance of His grace, for the purpose of shepherding His blessed people and for the service, that the sign of His glory may be exalted, and for the preparation of individuals as well as nations for the inheritance of eternal life.

Beloved, I feel in myself the responsibility that has been placed on my shoulder, and the holy deposit that has been tied around my neck, and these talents that have been delivered to me from the Lord of the Church – these talents in which I must invest to bear fruit and multiply.

But who am I? It is the grace of God that works in us and with us. Certainly, He who has called me will assist me in the apostolic service. I trust in His blessed promise: “I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break the gates of brass and cut asunder the bars of iron” (Is. 45:2).

My entire trust is in the mercies of our God, who says to His Church: “‘For a brief moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ Says the Lord, your Redeemer.” (Is. 54:7-8).

What does the human need more than the service of the Spirit in this age of materialism, infidelity, atheism, and deviant intellectual tendencies? What will benefit the people except that they see Christ in our lives, and smell His beautiful fragrance in us.

The Church is entrusted with a dangerous mission in the moment that the world is currently going through. She must establish faith in the hearts, and spread virtue, and send peace and tranquility to every troubled soul, so that stability may ensue and joy may increase. For the message of the Lord Christ is the inauguration of a better life for the people: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). That is the pure, calm, purifying, and active life, which constitutes the good, productive citizen and the active member of the Church, who knows to be honest always to God and to country, cooperating with all with the spirit of collegiality and brotherhood.

I rely on the support of God and your love, which I hold dearly, needing the spirit of the saintly fathers and [walking in] the footsteps of the past patriarchs, the successors of Saint Mark the Apostle, who fought the good fight and completed their struggle and kept the Faith and delivered to us the holy deposit.

I wish that I may open to you my heart, that you may see the deep love that covers all, that is the love that pours forth from the heart of our Savior, who loved us and redeemed us by His blood.

I ask all to persevere in the offering up of prayers for the sake of the peace of the Church and for my weakness, and for the sake of all servants and workers. “You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest” until He confirms and grants that His Church “may offer praise on the earth” (Is. 62:6-7).

If our mission is so great and dangerous, then this matter calls for the unity of powers and efforts, that we may complete our work with joy.

I am confident that our brethren the metropolitans and bishops, our blessed children the priests and deacons, the members of the general and individual lay councils, the various entities and active societies, and all servants in the vineyard of the Lord, will all work together in cooperation with us in love and loyalty, with self-sacrifice and the denial of the ego, in harmony with the leadership and the grace of the Great Shepherd of shepherds; may we disappear that He may appear with His blessed glory.

I ask the Lord that He may grant us all oneness of spirit and heart and thought, that we may work together with one mind and one will, that is the will of the Holy Spirit, Who has guided the Church throughout her long glorious history. And we have one holy goal: the glory of God and the service of Truth and the highest aspirations.

I do not aspire to anything and “neither is my soul haughtily raised within me” (Ps. 131:1), except that I may complete my struggle joyfully, and the service that I have taken from the Lord Jesus, knowing that you are my joy and pleasure and crown of boasting (cf. 1 Thess. 2:19).

My joy is in your success, and my pleasure is in the steadfastness of your faith and the power of your hope and the increase of your love (cf. 1 Thess. 1:3).

May the God of all love and peace shepherd the people of the United Arab Republic and keep the life of the President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the president of the Republic, and aid with wisdom and peace his struggle and hard work for the sake of peace and the liberty of the peoples.

We also convey the sincerest greetings and our Apostolic blessings to the beloved blessed Orthodox brother, the honorable emperor Haile Selassie I, the emperor of Ethiopia, and to the honorable empress and princes, and our brothers the Metropolitan Anba Basilious, and all the bishops and priests and deacons and dear Ethiopian congregation.

We implore God that He may preserve the congregations of the See of St. Mark, and grant peace and success to its governments in Africa and Asia, for the sake of the establishment and spread of the principles of love and peace in all the world, and to His greatness is due all thanks and glory and honor always and forever. Amen.

If you find this translation lacking or mistaken in any way, due to our own shortcomings and weakness and not those of our fellow workers, please let us know so we may correct it. Please pray for those who took part in this work and may this be for your edification. The link to the video is below: (@ 11:57 — 21:51)


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