Archbishop Luke of Crimea (the Surgeon)
“I’m aware that many of you have been deeply upset by the sudden rise in anti-religious propaganda and that this saddens you. But don’t worry… Tell me please. You remember the words of Christ from Saint Luke’s Gospel: ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom’. Our Lord Jesus Christ has repeatedly told us about His little flock. His little flock has been holding up since the Apostles. And then it grew more and more… The little flock is everywhere, despite the outbreak of anti-religious propaganda. And it still exists in our own day. All of you who are listening make up the little flock.
Archbishop Luke, Shepherd and Surgeon
So understand and keep the hope that this little flock of Christ’s is invincible. No-one can do anything to it. It isn’t afraid, because it knows and holds fast within it Christ’s great words: … ‘I shall build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. Well, then, since the gates of hell cannot overcome His Church, why should we, the little flock, be unsettled, why should we be troubled, why upset? There’s no reason. Christ’s little flock is impervious to any propaganda”.
(Extract from a sermon by Archbishop Luke, on the feast of the Holy Protecting Veil in 1954. In the Soviet Union, as it then was, Stalin had been succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who organized large-scale anti-religious propaganda before unleashing a new wave of persecutions against Christians).
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