On the evening of Wednesday the 10th/23rd of December 2015, the President of Ukraine, Mr Petro Poroshenko, on a visit to the state of Israel, visited the Patriarchate. He was accompanied by his esteemed wife and three children, the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel, Mr Hennadii Nadolenko, and a group of his political associates.

At David’s Gate, the President was met by the Patriarchal Commissioner, the Most Reverend Isychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolias, and the Assistant Dragoman and Master of Ceremonies, Archimandrite Bartholomew.

His Excellency the Ukrainian President and his entourage were welcomed at the Patriarchate by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and Hagiotaphite Fathers.

At the meeting, His Beatitude addressed Mr Poroshenko in English, see link:

In recognition of his services to his nation, his support of the Church of Jerusalem and his contribution to the unity of his state, Patriarch Theophilos bestowed upon Mr Poroshenko the Great Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher and an icon of Panagia Jerusalemite. Gold pectoral crosses were offered to the President’s wife and three children.

Moved, Mr Poroshenko thanked the Patriarch for the honour conferred upon him and the Patriarchate’s support of the nation of Ukraine through the ever-memorable Patriarchs Theophanes and Paisios, and for His personal contribution to the unity of the Ukrainian people. Finally, the Ukrainian President invited the Patriarch to visit Ukraine, the Lavra of the Caves of Kiev, and to pray for the unity of the Ukrainian people.

His Excellency the President offered the Patriarch an alabaster lamp, whilst the Patriarch offered the Head of Protocol, Mr Boris Sloskin, a nine-branched candelabra. To entrepreneur Mr Feldman Alexander, and other members of the presidential entourage, He offered Jerusalemite eulogias.

On the conclusion of his visit and after signing the guestbook, Mr Poroshenko, accompanied by the Patriarch, went on to venerate at the Church of the Resurrection, the Apokathelosis, the Holy Sepulcher, the Golgotha and the Sacristy, where he was welcomed by the Elder Sacristan, His Eminence Isidoros, Archbishop of Hierapolis. There, Archbishop Isidoros wished the President that the goals of his government be met by the grace of the Holy and Life-giving Sepulcher.

From the Secretariat-General