THE PRIME MINISTER OF BULGARIA VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE
On Wednesday afternoon, May 31/June 13, 2018, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Mr. Boyko Borissov, visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where along with his escorts, was warmly received and guided by Geronda Sacristan Most Reverend Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis. The Prime Minister was escorted by a group of his associates, the Metropolitan Antonios of West Europe from the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Education of Bulgaria, Members of the Municipality, and the Ambassador of Bulgaria in Israel Mr. Dimiter Mihaylov.
His Excellency the Prime Minister also went to the Patriarchate Headquarters, of the Holy City, which has been watered with the salvific and redeeming blood of Christ, where he was warmly received by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers.
The Prime Minister thanked His Beatitude for the reception of this visit and the reception of the pilgrims from Bulgaria and conveyed the brotherly greetings of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Bulgaria Neophytos along with His thanks for the annual distribution of the Holy Light.
His Beatitude referred to the long-term good relationship between the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Patriarchate of Bulgaria. He mentioned the history of the Jerusalem Patriarchate as the Mother of Churches and a Nation-leading Church since the time of the Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronios and Chalif Omar Khattab, a protector of the Christians of the Holy Land, He referred to the mission of the Orthodox Church to sustain the Orthodox nations in unity and finally commented on the attitude of Bulgaria regarding the Judaic nation during the Second World War.
On the occasion of this visit, His Beatitude awarded Mr. Boyko Borissov with the honourary distinction of the Grand Commander of the Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, in recognition of his feelings of reverence and his support of the Church of Bulgaria.
Emotional, the Prime Minister thanked His Beatitude and committed to always work from his Office of Ministry in favour of his nation and of all the Orthodox nations.
The Prime Minister offered His Beatitude an icon of Christ’s Resurrection, painted by a 12-year-old girl who has been awarded at the competition “the children paint for the children” and a coin made for the 140th independence anniversary of Bulgaria. His Beatitude offered the Prime Minister an icon of the Theotokos of Jerusalem and the Volume of the History of the Church of Jerusalem by Chrysostom Papadopoulos, and to his escorts He offered some blessings from Jerusalem.