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AN ADDRESS OF WELCOME TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SRPSKA.

Holy Jerusalem, January 17, 2012

 Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Srpska, Mr. Dodik:

It is a pleasure to have you with us in this festive season of Christmas, the New Year, and of course the Epiphany holy day.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem remains a beacon of hope for the world and for the Christian Orthodox people and nations in particular.

 The Jerusalem Rum Orthodox Patriarchate enjoys great respect from the political domains of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the State of Israel, and the Palestinian Authority. And this is due to the fact that the Patriarchate serves as a religious and spiritual force of promoting the incarnate love of peace, justice, and foremost reconciliation between people of different cultures and religious affiliations.

Your Excellency, Mr. President, we welcome you here with your honorable colleagues not as a mere visitor but as a pilgrim to the Holy Land; the land where sacred history was revealed by the prophets and of course by the Incarnate Divine Logos, Our Lord Jesus Christ, where he preached, was crucified, and resurrected.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem, being the Mother Church of all churches has been privileged to be the guardian and servant of the Holy Places that both bare witness to the Mystery of our faith and afford consolation and spiritual refreshment to thousands of pilgrims.

Mr. President, we are aware of the political developments that are taking place in your country as we are also aware of the realities through which our world is passing.

We would like to assure you of our prayers for the well being and progress of the national aspirations of your ethno-religious entity.

You are most welcome and we wish you a blessed pilgrimage and success in your visit to the state of Israel and the Holy Land.

Thank you!

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem.