THE METROPOLITANS OF RETHYMNO AND AVLOPOTAMOS AND MESOGAIA VISIT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Sunday, the 27th of June/10th of July 2016, the Metropolitan of Rethymno and Avlopotamos of the Church of Crete, heading a group of seventy pilgrims, and Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia, of the Church of Greece, heading fifty pilgrims, visited the Patriarchate.
The Most Reverend Metropolitans and pious pilgrims were received by H.B. Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Hagiotaphite Fathers in the Hall of the Throne.
In the context of this visit, His Beatitude spoke to pious pilgrims of the Great Synod of Orthodoxy, recently convened in Crete, which revealed the solicitude of all Orthodox Churches for the protection of their flocks from the dangers of globalisation and secularization of societies, and which has also revealed the Synodic way of life and administration of the Eastern Orthodox Church which, through the centuries, has preserved the Evangelic Apostolic truth intact.
Similarly, His Beatitude spoke of the relief, hope and peace the faithful find in their respective Churches, especially the Church of Jerusalem, the site where the Incarnate, Crucified and Resurrected Lord appeared on earth.
In their turn, the Most Reverend Metropolitans expressed their emotion for being able, by the grace of God, to return once again to the Holy Lands.
Specifically, Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia said that their pastoral visit takes place in the framework of the “Galilee” Foundation of his Bishopric, a home for seriously ill cancer patients, named thus after the Lord’s words “Behold, now I will go before you to Galilee” and also based on the Evangelic reference on the Lord’s arrival to Galilee, “where He had cured the ailing”.
The Metropolitan of Mesogaia added that the purpose of their visit was to support the work of the Patriarchate and of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, namely the safekeeping of the Holy Sites. He wished that God help the Patriarch and the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood in this difficult work.
Metropolitan Evgenios of Rethymno pointed out that for us to reach Jerusalem in heaven, we must first set foot in Jerusalem on earth. He also thanked Patriarch Theophilos for the Patriarchate’s support during the recent Synod and referred to the very old links between the Cretans and the Church of Jerusalem, as the Acts of the Apostles contain a reference on Cretans for converting to Christianity on Pentecost day and attesting to the truth of Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection. Metropolitan Evgenios also spoke of the Apostle Titus, sent by Paul to Crete in order to appoint presbyters in towns. The Church of Crete takes pride in the fact that it is referred to in Paul’s Epistle to Titus and for having been founded by the Apostle Paul. Through the centuries, Cretan Hagiotaphites have done significant work for the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.
From the Secretariat-General