On Sunday the 20th of July/3rd of August 2015, the feast of the prophet Elias the Thesbite was celebrated at the Monastery dedicated to his name, between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

This ancient Monastery is built in the area where it is believed that the prophet Elias escaped persecution from kings Ahab and Jezebel when, through his prayer, God burnt the sacrifice on Mount Carmel, and there Elias slept under a broom bush until being woken by an angel of the Lord with these words: Get up and eat and drink, for the journey is too much for you”. So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. (3, Kings 19, 4-8).

The Divine Liturgy was led by H.B. Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Co-officiating with Him were Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, Archbishops Aristarchos of Constantina, Methodios of Tabor, and Demetrios of Lydda; Archimandrites Ignatius and Mathew, and the Arabic-speaking Presbyter at St James Cathedral, fr Issa Tuma. The Choir of St James Cathedral sang in Arabic in the presence of monks, nuns, pilgrims and Arabic-speaking Orthodox faithful from Jerusalem and the occupied areas of Bethlehem, those who had succeeded in securing a permit to enter Jerusalem.

His Beatitude preached the Word of God in Greek.

Many among the faithful participated in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and on the conclusion of the service, received the Patriarch’s blessings.

A reception followed at the Hegoumeneion, as well as lunch hosted by the Hegoumen, Archimandrite Paisios.

From the Secretariat-General