On Saturday, September 25th / October 8th 2011, two large groups of pilgrims from Serbia one with eighty members and another with forty members constituting the Church Choir Branko of Nis in Serbia and a forty-member group from Thessaloniki visited the Patriarchate.
These groups had itinerated the Holy Land during the previous days and sealing their pilgrimage theory arrived at the Patriarchate in order to be blessed by the Primate of Zion Church His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos.
The priests of the groups from Serbia chanted troparia in their own dialaect, and the singing of the <<many years>>/polychronismos to His Beatitude. His Beatitude blessing these groups of pilgrims reminded them of the unifying character of the Orthodox Church regarding the integration of the individual national and cultural traditions and congratulated them on their decision to take this pilgrimage trip despite the prevalent economic crisis. Moreover, he complimented their musical charisma after the choir chanted <<Kyrie Eleison>>/Lord, Have Mercy and the Megalynarion of the Theotokos.
During the singing of the choir, His Beatitude gave the priests ivory Pectoral Crosses and Holy blessings from Jerusalem to each and everyone of the pilgrims.
Chief Secretary’s Office
(translated from the original document in Greek by Mrs. Irini Valasi)