On Thursday, November 4th / 17th 2011, a 50member team of the Hellenic Air Force (H.A.F) visited the Patriarchate.

This visit at the Patriarchate took place in the frame of the visit of the above team to the state of Israel for the cooperation of the military air forces of the two countries specifically for the air operation exercise in the area of Ovda in southern Israel by the name of “burning and unburnt bush”.

This visit to the Patriarchate took place with the cooperation of the Hellenic Embassy in Tel-Aviv. Spokesman of the Embassy, Colonel Nikolaos Kouroumanis accompanied the above-mentioned team. The above-mentioned team was accepted by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos.

The head of this team thanked His Beatitude for the time he devoted for the visit to the Holy Land and to the Patriarchate and explained to His Beatitude that the success of the Mission of the team is attributable to the readiness of the armed air forces at any given moment to protect our homeland.

His Beatitude commended the members of the team on their devotion to the duty of protecting our country, on their success of their Mission and underlined the importance of their visit to the Holy Land and the Patriarchate.

The Holy Land stated His Beatitude, sanctified by the blood of the cross of our Savior Jesus Christ, safeguarded in centuries since the establishment of the first Christian foundation of the Holy Land, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, the Order of the Great. The Patriarchate and the Brotherhood perform in the Holy Land ecclesiastical, sanctifying deed through the Divine Worship, the sacraments, the education of the Orthodox congregation as well as peacekeeping and conciliatory among the conflicting ethnic and religious factors in the Holy Land.

Stating these, His Beatitude wished them to have with the grace of the Holy Sepulcher the power to protect the principles and values contested and shaken nowadays as the country, the Church and the family.

His Beatitude gave every member of the team icons of the Holy Sepulcher, the History of the Church of Jerusalem by Chrysostomos Papadopoulos and other blessings from Jerusalem and medals of the two-thousand year anniversary of Christianity.

Chief Secretary’s Office

(translated from the original document in Greek by Mrs. Irini Valasi)