The funeral service of the deceased memorable dentist John Tleel, exceptional member of the Greek Community and devoted child of the Patriarchate, took place at the Holy Church of the Holy Trinity in Zion, on Wednesday of mid-Pentecost afternoon, April 19/May 2, 2018.
The funeral service of the ninety-year-old deceased was officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with many co-celebrant Archbishops and Hagiotaphite Fathers, at the presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and the honourary participation of members of the Greek Community and the Arab-speaking congregation.
The requiem referencing main parts of the deceased man’s life was delivered by Geronda Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina as follows;
Your Beatitude Father and Master,
Most Reverend Archbishops,
Your Excellency Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem,
Dear Fathers and Brothers,
Honourable Members of the Greek Expatriate Community and of the Arab-speaking Congregation of Jerusalem,
The present deceased man, who is very dear to us, has left the earthly and temporary things for the heavenly and eternal ones. Most of the deceased and the living Hagiotaphites, if not all of us, have known this man since the years of our youth, and we had been visiting him at his family house near the Patriarchate, as well as his memorable parents Nikolaos and Katherine, who used to pray quite often along with the Hagiotaphites at their Monastic Church of Saints Constantine and Helen.
We have known him as a devoted to the Patriarchate person, where he found refuge and asylum in the year 1948 from his house of residence outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. We have also known him as a dentist, who offered his medical treatment free of charge to the Hagiotaphites, the members of the Greek Community of Jerusalem and the Greek Orthodox Arab-speaking congregation as well as many others, regardless of their religion and nationality, following the example of his memorable brother David.
We watched him participating in many matters related to the Greek Community energetically and efficiently. He was the editor of the magazine “Trifilon” for many years, conveying in its issues his deep reliance on his Roman-Orthodox descent and the Roman Orthodox manner of living, in elegant artistic writing. However, he presented his own Roman Orthodox identity and that of the Arab-speaking Congregation, in his approved and original book “I am Jerusalem”. In this book, not only him, but also every member of the Christian Community is proven to be not only a pillar and column of Jerusalem, but as the very Jerusalem itself. Moreover, each Patriarch of Jerusalem is a direct spiritual descendant of Patriarch Abraham. Out of these, this man, at the fullness of his age, lived to see six Patriarchs, as he used to say to the members of the Patriarchate himself.
This ecumenical man of Jerusalem, born of a Roman Orthodox Arab-speaking father and a Greek mother, who worthily represented the Patriarchate in important delegations and Conferences, the link between the Patriarchate and its congregation, “Jerusalem” as he liked to call himself, has fallen. He fell as a man, having fulfilled his common duty, to die once and for all, however his consignment remains an example, especially to these difficult times that Jerusalem encounters.
Having remained a faithful member of the Church all his life, he hopes in the retribution of his toil by the righteous Judge, Christ our God, Who has conquered death through His death on the Cross and was resurrected from the dead. We beseech this philanthropist Judge, to forsake every sin, voluntary or involuntary that was committed by our dearest and reverend deceased brother of ours, and place his soul in the land of the living along with the righteous ones, and resurrect his body in the common resurrection on the Last Day of Judgment.
Seeing the deceased as a special child of them, the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood express their condolences to his close relatives and thank all present for honouring him in his funeral service. Ever-lasting remembrance of him.
After the funeral, the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and the deceased man’s nephew Evaggelos, received the condolences of all present at the Patriarchal reception hall, as the deceased is considered to have been an exceptional child of the Brotherhood.