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"Metropolitan of Kinshasa Nikiforos (1949-2021)

by Metropolitan of Kananga Theothosios 20/09/2021

«…Then the LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your kindred, and your father’s household, and go to the land I will show you. …»

“... And the answer, as if taken from the three levels of his soul: «Here it is the servant of the Lord. Let it be according to thy Word … Do with me as you want even against my desire … "

A voice sent from heaven, a sign given by God, was sent suddenly, but unexpectedly and uniquely in the life of Patriarch Abraham. A sweet voice, a motivating voice, a voice that sounds like a call and an opportunity for total devotion, echoes in the domes of the Patriarchal heart of the Father Abraham.

And the answer, as if taken from the three levels of his soul: «Here it is the servant of the Lord. Let it be according to thy Word … Do with me as you want even against my desire … »

Which means: Do not ask how, do not ask yourself why, do not think about it afterwards, do not try to explain, but point with the heart the string, the cute but so beneficial "yes be blessed".

And God has…

This voice was heard by You too, sweetheart and my beloved spiritual father, blessed now, Metropolitan Nikifore of Kinshasa and so you followed with gentle nails, the beloved Bridegroom of your soul, longing for the solitary life and the complete dedication to Him.

But give me a blessing at this sacred moment, from where you are, to speak for you to the people, as an expression of gratitude and honor to your septic face, although I know very well in myself that you would not like to write the following words.

In my memory comes the moment when I first met You on Mount Athos, in the orchard of Our Lady, which blooms with reverence and musks from holiness and asceticism, in this blessed corner of our Homeland, when as a child I came with a sacred desire to study sacred letters in the famous and glorified by brilliant personalities Athoniada School.

There I remember you, to stand as a beacon of immortality as a Professor and later as a Scholar, a bright beacon for all of us, a spiritual father for the young students of the School, a Professor with a Greek Orthodox mind, passing on to our then young hearts Christ and Greece.

I bring you to my memory, to always speak to us with love, to face everything with patience, to tell us with emotion the Mount Athos stories from the old elders you met in your favorite eagle's nest in Small Agia Anna, but also in the whole Mount Athos . And from there, from the Athonite State, you again heard a voice in the three depths of your soul, information that reminded you of the word of Christ: “...Teach them to keep all the commandments I have given you”.

The sweet sound of the bell of our Holy Orthodoxy now invited you to another spiritual realm. In another sacred mission. To convey the message of the Gospel, the word of hope and the Resurrection to the ends of the universe. We saw you in the Church of Albania, serving with self-denial in order to establish the Ecclesiastical School there and then in the Theological School of Kinshasa, Central Africa, first as a Teacher and Coordinator of the educational program and then as a Metropolitan of Kinshasa, to ask for youthful and militant enthusiasm, like Jesus of Navi.

There in Central Africa, your steps were to be engraved in golden letters and to leave indelible the marks of your own presence. Whoever Congolese we ask who met you, everyone will confess to us, with one mouth and one heart, that you were a man of God, sent from heaven to beautify our world, an angel who with the wings of your love embraced each aching and thorough brother.

What I am writing about you today, adventurous elder, we heard Metropolitan Nikifore, I did not just listen to it, nor was it told to me, I lived it myself, as a close experience, in 2012, a milestone year for my course and my life. Then, you invited me to come to the missionary Diocese of Kinshasa, unknown to me, and to serve with you. I remember you telling me with a complaint: “Of all my students (at the Athoniada School), none came here to the Mission. Come to me… ". Who knew God's will? What is His plan? There, with mixed feelings, I came to you, to taste the rich results of your fruitful and fruitful ministry in the missionary Continent of the future, as often our Blessed Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, etc. Theodore II, calls Africa.

Every day, all year round, you ran to build Temples on the vast continent, to worship the Triune God. You were anxious for the youth of your Diocese. You coordinated the catechisms of the young Christians. You gave your all for the Theological School, which you considered the nursery of the new executives of the Church. You were constantly talking to the new students of the School, about Christ, solving the questions, teaching them, catechizing them with the namas of Holy Orthodoxy. And they, the young African Christians, listened to you and drew from your mouth, verbs of eternal life.

He focused on the establishment of Schools and Health Centers, in order to find care for all those who needed medical help. You have always been next to the pain of people, close to the aching brother. You held in your hand the happy mothers who lost their children to various diseases and conveyed to them the hope of the Resurrection, so that they might find solace and a fairy tale. You did not want anyone to be in pain. Their tear was your tear. Their joy, your joy. Their smile, your smile. Sacrifice for all to be made, without selfishness and no interest. Only one thing bothered you. To glorify the name of the Triune God.

You also attached great importance to the liturgical life and to the standard of the Holy Communions. First in the Sequence, humble as a true monk, always praying in your stall, you teach us all with your reverent silence and your source humility. How many times have we not seen you go to church secretly and light candles for people who asked for your prayer. You believed a lot in the power of prayer. You said about all the issues: "God has". This was visible in your moonlit heart and in your bright gaze. Genuine and sincere faith was coming from within you and everyone felt that.

Ephorous from a genuine solitary spirit and for this you gave weight to the foundation of the first Holy Monastery named after the "Virgin of Help", to house the first Monks. Unfortunately, your worldly rapture and sleep did not allow you to complete this plan. Blessed be the name of God.

You had, and you transmitted this to all of us, a genuine ecclesiastical mindset, in obedience to our Missionary Patriarch, who loved you so much and wrote about you, after your death: “The late Hierarch Nikiforos was one of his most important figures Of the Throne of Alexandria ".

Blessed Metropolitan of Kinshasa, Nikifore,

We thank God for giving you our land and the Church of Alexandria.

We owe you a lot!

Thank you for being in our lives. Thank you for accepting us in your paternal arms. Thank you for standing by us in difficult and critical times for our lives. Thank you for your humble presence in watering the tree of Orthodoxy on the African continent and especially in the Holy See of Kinshasa.

The children of your Diocese thank you for baptizing them as Christians. That you gave them bread to eat. Thank you, your Clergy, for surrounding you with such paternal affection. The young people of the Theological School "Agios Athanasios the Athonite" thank you. We thank you all, young and old, young and old, because you were and will always be the Metropolitan Nikiforos of our hearts!

Thank you for everything.

From where you are, we ask you to pray for the success of the missionary work of your Diocese and for all of us, your spiritual children, may God strengthen us in the spiritual struggle.

In conclusion, I dedicate to you these words that were aptly written in the past about the Priest who dedicates his life to Christ and they certainly have an impact on your face.

Tiberias sea, it was your heart. Galilee of the Nations, your soul. Garden of Olives, it's yours. Pentecost, your existence. Damn Golgotha, your hands are sanctified. Life-giving tomb, your fiery blessing. Bloodless sacrifice, your crucifixion course.

And, you may be surprised, but it's true!

"Every Priest, and in this case, High Priest Nikiforos, was the sacrifice of a man who was added to the sacrifice of the Godman."

May your memory be eternal!

Your Blessing!

Kanagas Theodosius Vicar of the Holy Metropolis of Kinshasa

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