ADDRESS OF Η.Β. PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM TO HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP LEO OF KARELIA AND ALL FINLAND IN THE GREAT HALL OF THE PATRIARCH AFTER THE DOXOLOGY
JERUSALEM, APRIL 29, 2014
Your Eminence Archbishop Leo of Karelia and all Finland,
beloved brother and concelebrant in Christ,
Our joy and emotion has increased and culminates in the recent veneration of Fearful Golgotha and of the All-Holy and Life-Giving Tomb of the Lord and on the occasion of the visit of your most beloved Eminence to this historic hall of our ancient Patriarchate.
We are especially joyful that we are receiving Your Eminence, our beloved brother in Christ, as the chosen Primate and distinguished shepherd of the autonomous Orthodox Church of Finland, which is distinguished and praised for its Orthodox spirit, for its pastoral and social support of its members, for its organization, for its cultivation of peaceful dialogue, which furthers its peaceful coexistence with the other Christian confessions of faith in Finland, as well as its residents, who are lovers of peace, peaceful and meek.
Our predecessor, the ever-memorable Patriarch Dositheos of Jerusalem, named our venerable Brotherhood of the All-Holy Tomb a “holy house.” In our “home,” We rejoice at the opportunity to welcome Your most beloved Eminence today with great joy, and We share this with you, viewing Your Eminence not as a simple pilgrim who has received hospitality, but as a member of Our “home.”
Thus, it is with brotherly and hospitable disposition of soul that We welcome Your Eminence and your honorable delegation, intending to accompany Your Eminence in your entrances and exits during these days of pilgrimage theoria (i.e. contemplation), so that we may all together experience in the Holy Land the revealed mystery of our salvation in the divine face and the salvific work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that we may also be strengthened to faithfully serve the flocks entrusted to Us and to serve all people for the praise of Orthodoxy and glory of our Triune God. Amen.
Patriarch of Jerusalem