On Sunday May 21/June 3, 2018, the Patriarchate celebrated along with the feast of All Saints, that of the Holy, Glorious, God-crowned, Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen the Equals to the Apostles, at their Holy Church in the Central Monastery, as the founders and patron Saints of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the other Holy Shrines and the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.
The Feast was celebrated with vespers in the evening, led by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with the participation in prayer of Hagiotaphite Fathers, Archbishops, Priests and monks, who received the boiled wheat at the courtyard of the Church at the end of the service.
In the morning, the feast was celebrated with the Divine Liturgy, which was led by His Beatitude, with co-celebrant Hagiotaphite Hieromonks ministering in this Church, with first in rank the Typikon Keeper Archimandrite Alexios. The service was attended by the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos, monks, nuns and local faithful and pilgrims.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, dressed in His Patriarchal vestments, His Beatitude returned to the Patriarchate Headquarters escorted by the Hagiotaphite Fathers and the congregation. Each one received a small loaf of bread as a blessing on the way to the Patriarchate by the baker Nun Seraphima.
At the reception hall of the Patriarchate His Beatitude addressed all present as follows;
“Thou wast first of all the Christian kings to receive the scepter from God; for His saving sign which was hid in the earth, was shown to thee, O blessed Constantine. By its might thou didst subjugate all nations and peoples underneath the Christian’s feet, since thou didst truly have Christ’s life-giving Cross as a weapon which no adverse power could conquer, and thereby thou also wast brought to our God”.
Your Excellency Consul General of Greece Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos,
Reverend Holy Fathers and Brothers,
Noble Christians and pilgrims,
The Holy Church of Jerusalem honours and venerates today the commemoration of the Holy, Glorious, Great, God-crowned Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, the Equals to the Apostles, owners of the All-holy Shrines in the Holy Land, and founders of our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.
The contribution of these great sovereigns to the abolition of the religion of idols and the prevalence of the Christian faith made them Equals to the Apostles and Evangelists, patron saints of the Holy Land and founders of the uncontested and insurmountable spiritual and cultural greatness of the ecumenical “Romiosyne”.
It is confessed by all that the highlighting of the All-holy Shrines and the Holy Sepulchre by Saints Constantine and Helen, established the long-term presence of the Christian Communities in the Holy Land as well as in the wider Middle East region.
Being grateful to the Trinitarian God Who has made wonders through the Saints Constantine and Helen the Equals to the Apostles, we have celebrated the Divine Liturgy in thanksgiving in the Monastic and Patriarchal Church bearing their names, and we prayed for our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, for the continuation of its God-pleasing mission, and also for the prevalence of peace in our tested region, by the intercessions of the Most Blessed, our Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary and the prayers of today’s honoured Holy, Glorious Constantine and Helen the Equals to the Apostles. Amen. Many happy returns.
At noon there was a monastic festal meal.