On the morning of Monday, the 29th/15th of June 2015, the Hieratic School of the Archbishopric of Cyprus, led by the Principal, the Most Reverend Archimandrite Benedictus Ioannou, visited the Patriarchate. Guests included fifteen students, priests and laymen from various Orthodox Churches.

The pilgrims of the sister Orthodox and Autocephalous Church of Cyprus were cordially welcomed by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and Hagiotaphite Fathers.

At the meeting, Archimandrite Benedictus addressed His Beatitude, pointing out how touched they all were with this visit to the Holy Land where the Incarnate, Crucified and Resurrected Lord had walked. He added that the example of Hagiotaphite Fathers, guardians of the Lord’s traces, would further enhance their faith and strengthen their links with the Mother of Churches. These links were first formed upon the foundation of the Church, as referenced in the Acts of the Apostles, through the founder of the Church of Cyprus, Apostle Barnabas, the Apostle Paul and his associates, St Neophytos the Recluse et al.

In His reply speech, the Patriarch underlined the harmonious relations between the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Archbishopric of Cyprus since ancient times, demonstrated in the context of the Middle East Council of Churches, the accommodation of youth from old Patriarchates in the camping sites of St Nikolas, Kakopetria, the enrolment of Arab-speaking children of the Patriarchate in the Cyprus Hieratic School, and the establishment of the Exarchate of the Holy Sepulcher in Nicosia.

On the conclusion of speeches, gifts were exchanged between f. Benedict and the Patriarch, whereupon the latter wished all students a constructive and soul-healing pilgrimage across the Holy Shrines.

From the Secretariat-General