On Tuesday the 4th/17th of September 2013, a holy water rite was performed on the occasion of the start of the new school year 2013-2014 in the Patriarchal Hieratic School on the hill of St Sion.

The rite was performed by His Beatitude Theophilos, Our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, who was accompanied by the Elder Secretary-General Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina, and Archdeacon f. Athanasios. Attending the rite were, from the School Board, Hierodeacon f. Martyrios; the Principal, Physics teacher monk f. Fotios, detached teachers from Greece and Cyprus, the School’s pastor and  Hegoumen of the Monastery of Hojeva, Archimandrite Constantinos, the new Consul-General of Greece to Jerusalem, Mr Georgios Zacharoudiakis, his associate Ms Aspasia Mitsi, students, fifteen in all, and some of their parents.

After the rite, at the School’s Events Hall, the Principal f. Fotios addressed His Beatitude, teachers and students in the speech available through the video below.

In His reply speech, His Beatitude said that the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, the future members of which are today’s novices, and which carries the ecumenical mission of safeguarding the All-Holy Sites of Pilgrimage, celebrated today the spiritual opening of the new school year in order to bless those who teach and those who are being taught the god-pleasing work of education.

Special reference was made to the presence and the work of the Patriarchate and Brotherhood in the holy and ecumenical city of Jerusalem, at all times, especially so during this difficult period facing the Middle East and the rest of the world.

His Beatitude wished the students diligence in Christ’s education, spiritual achievements and sense of honour maintained by those attending the School. He also wished for more students in order for the School to pursue its mission in a more effective way.

Through a few words, the Greek Consul-General reiterated the will of Greece to support the education of the Brotherhood at the School and urged students to prove worthy of our national and religious tradition, serving the Church and the Nation, as required by them.

From the Secretariat-General