From beyond the stars the beloved Saint and Archpastor looks down on his land and people and speaks:
I learned the monastic life and came to know the Scriptures, living a holy life in a faraway place.
I came to you in obedience and service to my father in spirit, the great and holy and blessed Gregory.
I sought and found his prayers, despite the weak and faint-hearted who wished to turn back.
I came to make Angels of you Angles, to save you from wrath and bring your bright and graceful voices to sing praise to Christ with the word Alleluia.
I came in the springtime of the English nation, to bring to blossom the flower of Faith.
I came with power from the Holy Trinity and bore before you the Cross and the Likeness of the Saviour painted on wood.
I offered up prayers for you, singing a litany of eternal salvation with fair words and promises.
I prayed for the mercy of God for you, that all evil would be turned away from you.
I emulated the life of the Apostles, keeping faith with the Tradition.
I was ever at prayer, fasting and vigil for you, preaching the Word of Life.
I regarded the things of this world as of no matter, living what I taught.
I was willing to suffer any hardship, even to die for the truth which I proclaimed.
I lived in purity and simplicity, giving comfort with the Word of Heaven
I gathered the holy ones, sang psalms, prayed and celebrated the holy mysteries.
I baptised your High King and built churches.
I made your streams to flow with the waters of the Jordan.
I taught that the service of Christ must be accepted freely and not by force.
I built your Mother-Cathedral and your Mother-Monastery.
I gave you your first laws, made you your first school and left you my Book of Christ.
I sought counsel and worked wonders in all humility for the salvation of the people chosen by God for me.
I spoke to all men, strove to establish brotherly relations, with right belief and holy life, for it is the Lord Who makes men to be of one mind in His Father's House, granting us signs, showing us by which paths we are to hasten on our way to His Kingdom.
I restored sight to bring the light of spiritual grace to the minds of many, as a true herald of the Light of Christ.
I hallowed others to help me and supported by wonders, I guided King and people from the worship of idols to the Faith of Christ, finishing my course in peace and honour.
I had made your land into a Garden, the Garden of the True Vine, like unto Eden of old.
The mystical lament of the holy Apostle and Archpastor, as he weeps for the English land and people:
I raised you up out of your old barbarian darkness and showed you the light of heaven, but you have come to love the old darkness over the light.
O my people, you have forgotten your past and in so doing, you have forgotten your destiny. You have lost Christ and so lost your memory and you no longer know who you are.
When you chose Christ and His Holy Mother, your saints and martyrs were beyond number, the English land resembled the Milky Way, a galaxy of hundreds and thousands of lights of wisdom who went out and conquered hearts and souls in Europe. But your lights went out long ago.
Oh, my brethren, do you not see? Have you not suffered enough from the darkness and iniquity of Europe in these latter times? You have made the Lord Christ into an outcast through your reasoning and compromise. Will you ever follow the way of Satan, the Maker of death, or will you return to Christ, the Conqueror of death? He has saved you often enough, and yet you now persist in your wickedness. Death or life, that is your choice, and only Christ gives Life, for He alone has conquered death.
You have returned to the infernal worship of idols, of sinful and fallen men. Boast no more of the vanity of your human knowledge, your false gods of culture, every invented ware and imagining, the playthings of reason, for they are empty, they are knowledge without God. You have made many discoveries, but not a single one of them is of spiritual worth. Boast not of them, boast rather of the knowledge of Christ and His Gospel. Then you will be great, as once before. But for now, having made yourselves into gods, you are as nothing, you are as death.
Christ has taken His cross and His blessing from your land and He has left you to the sorrows of your sins. Deceive yourselves no longer. Laugh at Christ no more. You have lost your greatness because you have lost your Faith in Christ. Turn to Him and cross yourselves. Remember your fathers and mothers of old, and once again you will be as fair as Orthodox England a thousand years ago. Turn again to the Cross and the Likeness of Christ which I brought you, as did your forebears of old, and then through repentance once more you will find Life, the contentment and joy, wisdom and beauty, goodness and truth, which alone are worthy to be shared with the other nations.
The Baptism of the Lord, 2004
(Taken from St Bede's History of the English Church and People, Book I, Chapters 23, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33, Book II, Chapters I, II and III).
(c) Orthodox England - Published within the English Deanery of the Church Outside Russia: with the blessing of the Very Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Great Britain and Ireland.