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    PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA ALEXY II WISHES RUSSIANS A HAPPY NEW YEAR

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    MOSCOW, January 1, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II has wished the Russians a happy New Year. In a RIA Novosti interview on the day before the patriarch said that he would like above all to wish the Russians "a warm and luminous joy about Christ who chose to be born and come to this sinful world for the sake of people and for our salvation". "May his omnipowerful assistance accompany us throughout our lives, through all trials, and in good designs and deeds," the patriarch said.

    "By God's providence we are destined to live in the far from simple time of swift and sometimes ominous change. I wish everyone of you, dear fellow-countrymen, wisdom and strength, unrelenting diligence and patience. Let faith, hope and affection dwell in every heart. May the coming year become for everyone of us a time of spiritual growth, and productive comprehension of the road covered, and may it become a peaceful and blessed one for our Fatherland," said Alexy.

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