On Wednesday the 17th/30th of April 2014, His Eminence, Archbishop Leo of Finland and His retinue, accompanied by the Patriarchal Commissioner, the Most Reverend Isychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolias, continued his pilgrimage tour in the framework of an official visit to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, starting from the city of Bethlehem.
There, he was welcomed in an official reception, akin to that reserved for the Patriarch of Jerusalem on the feast of Christmas, in the court of the Basilica of the Nativity with banners and cherubim, by priests officially dressed. From there, he crossed the Basilica according to the right of the Orthodox.

In procession, the Archbishop proceeded to venerate at the Holy Cavern, the Star and the Manger before reading out the Evangelical Pericope on the Nativity, after which a supplication was made and Doxology performed.

Subsequently, the Patriarchal Commissioner in Bethlehem, His Eminence Theophylaktos, Archbishop of Jordan, hosted the Archbishop of Finland and His Retinue to lunch in the presence of representatives of the government and the flock.

On the afternoon of the same day, the Archbishop of Finland visited the Holy Monastery of St Sabba the Sanctified in the desert of Judea, the Holy Monastery of the Shepherds in the Village of the Shepherds, and of the Prophet Elias near Theotokos’ Sit.

The hegoumens of these Monasteries, Archimandrites Evdokimos, Ignatios and Ierotheos, courteously welcomed the Archbishop of Finland and His Retinue.

From the Secretariat-General