On Friday, the 25th of October/7th of November 2014, the feast of the Great Martyr, St Demetrius the Myrrh-Bearer, was celebrated by the Patriarchate at the Church dedicated to him in the Greek Orthodox Community of Rafidia, a town in the city Nablus of Samaria, also home to Jacob’s Well.

The Divine Liturgy was led by H.B. Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Co-officiating were: the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth and their Eminences, Archbishops Aristarchos of Constantina and Theophylaktos of Jordan. Also in attendance were Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, i.e. the Abbot at Jacob’s Well and founder of the magnificent Church at the aforementioned pilgrimage site, Archimandrite Justinus, and Protosyncellus Leontios of St. Demetrius church. Priests from neighbouring towns and parishioners attended mass in piety, as the Head Cantor of the Church of the Resurrection, Archimandrite Aristovoulos, sang in Greek and the Community Choir sang in Arabic.

During the Divine Liturgy, Patriarch Theophilos preached the Word of God in Greek, saying among other things:

“St Demetrius was distinguished both for his piety and for this teaching contribution, namely the dissemination of the true faith in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of the World. Being a faithful follower of Christ and preacher of the Gospels, Demetrius had in mind the words of the Lord to His disciples: “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony”, (Luke 21, 12-13).

Which means that all persecutions and adversities shall have as their final outcome and result the testimony you shall give for my Gospel, so that this testimony shall test those who shall not be able to justify themselves on Judgment Day, for they had no hearkened the preaching of the gospel. The day of judgment shall be the hour “when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment”, (John 5, 28-29).

In Arabic, the speech may be reached here: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/ar/2014/11/07/8043

After the Divine Liturgy, the apolysis, and the distribution of consecrated bread (antidoron), a reception followed at the Abbot’s Quarters. At noon, lunch was offered by the town’s Municipal Council.

On the conclusion of the feast, His Beatitude visited Jacob’s Well before returning to Jerusalem.


From the Secretariat-General