On Sunday, the 17th/30th of March 2014, the Sunday of St John Climacus, His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, officiated at the Divine Liturgy in the Rum Orthodox, Arab-speaking Community of Tulkarm.

The town lies at half an hour’s drive from Jacob’s Well in Samaria.

Tulkarm numbers only two families, living amongst Muslim residents. Its church, dedicated to the name of St George, was built by the Greek Army during its progression through Palestine in 1943, during World War II.

The Divine Liturgy was led by His Beatitude. Co-officiating were the Elder Secretary-General, His Eminence Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina; and the master of ceremonies, Archimandrite Porphyrios; Archdeacon Evlogios and Hierodeacon Markos. The members of the two families, approximately twelve, attended the service.

To this pious and small flock, for which the Lord’s words – Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom (Luke 12, 32) –  would indeed apply, His Beatitude preached the Word of God in Arabic, as follows:  https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/ar/2014/03/30/4321

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude was hosted to meatless lunch offered by the two families.

On the same day, the fourth Sunday of the Great Lent, namely the 17th/30th of March 2014, the Divine Liturgy was also held at the Holy Monastery of the Holy Cross, where Lot had planted the tree from which the Lord’s Cross was to be made, and where the Patriarchate’s Theological School used to run (1845-1909).

The feast of the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of the Great Lent at the Monastery of the Holy Cross, according to the aforementioned tradition.

The Divine Liturgy was officiated by the hegoumen of the Monastery, Archimandrite Claudius in the presence of nuns and Christians from the Old and New City of Jerusalem.

From the Secretariat-General