HIS BEATITUDE THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM LAYS FOUNDATION STONE IN THE COMMUNITY OF ZBABDE
On Sunday, the 15th/28th of June 2015, H.B. Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, led the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Greek Orthodox Arabic-speaking Community of the town of Zbabde.
The town lies at half an hour’s drive from Jacob’s Well to Nablus, northward.
Warmly welcomed by Boy Scouts and inhabitants of the town, the Patriarch led the Matins and Divine Liturgy. Co-officiating were Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, the Hegoumen at Jacob’s Well, Archimandrite Ioustinos, and the head of the parish, f. Issa Touma. Hagiotaphite deacons sang in Arabic, in the Byzantine style, in the presence of a crowd of pious men and women.
During Communion, the Patriarch preached the Word of God.
On the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Beatitude presented f. Issa Touma with the cross of Steward, then offered icons to the faithful.
A procession followed, led by the Boy Scouts, to the city centre. There, the Patriarch performed the holy water rite, laying anew the cornerstone of the Church of Theotokos, the initial construction of which had begun thirty years ago.
The head of the church, f. Dawd Touma, thanked His Beatitude for this initiative. Addresses were also made by the Mayor of the town, the acting Prefect of the region and His Beatitude Himself. Financial aid was offered by the Patriarch to the Mayor and the Church for projects of the Orthodox Church scheduled in the vicinity of the mosque, signifying the peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims. Patriarch Theophilos offered the Church Board the recently published New Testament in Arabic, and received a plaque commemorating the event.
From the Secretariat-General