THE PRESIDENT OF BULGARIA VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE
On Thursday afternoon of the Great Canon, March 9/22, 2018, His Excellency the President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev visited the Patriarchate, escorted by his wife, a delegation and the Ambassador of Bulgaria in Tel Aviv Dr. Dimitar Mihaylov.
His Excellency the President of Bulgaria was warmly received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers.
At this visit His Beatitude addressed the President, explaining that the Patriarchate is the oldest religious institution of the Holy Land, with a very important pastoral, cultural and peace-making mission and safeguards the sacred character and the Status Quo of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
His Beatitude underlined the role of the Patriarchate regarding the reception and hospitality of pilgrims, among whom quite often are pilgrims from Bulgaria.
With these words, His Beatitude honoured the President with the distinction of the Grand Cross bearer of the Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and offered him also an icon of the renovated Sacred Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre.
Emotional, the President thanked His Beatitude for this honourary distinction on his visit, which has a beneficiary reflection upon the Bulgarian people.
Consequently there was the descend to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, bells tolling, while His Excellency the President of Bulgaria was escorted by His Beatitude and Hagiotaphite Fathers. The visit included the All-holy Tomb, the Horrendous Golgotha and the Office of Geronda Sacristan, where the Sacred Wood and Saints’ relics are kept.
There, the President of Bulgaria asked the blessing of the Holy Sepulchre and of His Beatitude for the success of his mission and the prosperity of the Bulgarian people.