Looking back over my life’s long road, I kneel reverently before the inscrutable, blessed and wise paths of Divine Providence, which summoned me onto this earth eighty-four years ago on the glorious day of the Lord’s Transfiguration and which preserved me under Its mantle even unto this day.
Death, which early carried off all my brothers and sisters in childhood, also threatened me together with them, but the Lord preserved my life in the midst of the many childhood ills through which I passed together with them.
Dangers to my life threatened repeatedly in the following years as well, but God’s Hand, watching over me, averted or anticipated them, unseen by me myself.
I profess the Lord for all His mercies, granted me in the days of my sojourn on earth for having sent me kind, wise and loving parents, who spared nothing toward my education; for the richly-gifted, morally-sensitive teachers and tutors, who gave me a great deal of attention and love during my school days; and for the kind, true and noble friends among my school-mates, in whose company my soul was as if opened up and expanded. Them I can blame (as, also many others who were close to me) for only one thing: that they overestimated my strength and capabilities, placing exaggerated trust in me, which I could not justify.
I thank the Lord for having enlightened me, and granting me early in life to understand the vanity of this world. From youth, my soul would often be bored and sad in this world, and I would, not infrequently, remain alone amid reckless youths, abandoning themselves ecstatically to worldly pleasures.
At the age of fifteen, I felt especially deeply the insignificance of all that is earthly, began to avoid people, became pensive and cooled toward not only all the joys of life, but also toward life itself, considering that all was nothing compared to eternity. My parents, teachers and tutors, who regarded me with a great deal of sympathy, could not understand my spiritual state and remained utterly perplexed. By common consent I was temporarily removed from my second year at the seminary and, for a few months, lived at home with my parents, spending the time in constant meditation, the reading of instructive spiritual books and in attending church services. My parents were very surprised upon learning that I was ready to leave school and enter a monastery. It cost them a great deal of effort to convince me to abandon such a decision and to postpone carrying it out until a more mature age.
I took my monastic vows only upon graduating from the Moscow Spiritual Academy in 1898 in Tambov’s monastery of Kazan.
As I pass away from this world, I humbly beg forgiveness of all, whom I have had the misfortune to offend, by word or deed or judging in my mind, in the course of my whole life, and mutually, from all my heart, forgive all who may have sinned in any way against me.
May the Lord in His beatific Heavenly Kingdom return sevenfold to all those who have been good to me in any way, or who may have only had the wish and intention to do so, but did not implement this decision owing to circumstances beyond their control.
I beseech and implore all my associates, especially my brother bishops and devout priests and monks to remember me in their prayers, may the Lord forgive me all my voluntary and involuntary transgressions, and may He not refuse to me, sinner, to be with His elect.
To my dear brethren, copastors and coworkers in Christ, I bequeath them to stand steadfast upon the rock of Holy and saving Orthodoxy, to reverently maintain apostolic tradition, abide in brotherly unity, peace and love among themselves, and to render to the one God chooses after me to lead the ship of the Church Abroad, the same trust and equal obedience of mutual love, which they have always shown my humility.
May the 34th Rule of the Apostles serve as the corner-stone for their mutual relations, where the spirit of rule by council in the Church is expressed so deeply and clearly.
As regards the Moscow Patriarchate and its hierarchs, then, so long as they continue in close, active and benevolent cooperation with the Soviet Government, which openly professes its complete godlessness and strives to implant atheism in the entire Russian nation, then the Church Abroad, maintaining Her purity, must not have any canonical, liturgical or even simply external communion with them whatsoever, leaving each one of them at the same time to the final judgment of the Council (Sobor) of the future free Russian Church.
Glory be to our God unto the ages of ages!
Humble Metropolitan Anastassy.