HIS EMINENCE MAKARIOS THE NEW ARCHBISHOP OF AUSTRALIA VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE
On Monday morning, September 3/16, 2019, His Eminence the new Archbishop Makarios of Australia visited the Patriarchate, escorted by his associate Bishop Seraphim of Apollonia and a group of fifty pilgrims from various Australian cities; Professor Giangos of the University of Thessalonica was also present.
The recently elected and established Archbishop Makarios and his group of pilgrims were received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers. His Beatitude expressed His joy for this visit which reflects the long-term close relations between the Archdiocese of Australia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
As a token of His appreciation for the Archbishop of Australia Makarios’ visit and author’s work, His Beatitude honoured him with the medal of the Grand Commander of the Holy Sepulchre and offered Reverend Archbishop Seraphim of Apollonia an egolpion, pectoral crosses to the Priests and blessings from Jerusalem to the pilgrims.
Emotional with the visit and the honorary distinction, the Most Reverend Archbishop Makarios of Australia thanked His Beatitude with the following address;
“Your Beatitude and Most Holy Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos,
In awe and deep emotion, from our Most Holy Archdiocese of Australia ,the Reverend brother, Bishop Seraphim of Apollonia and all of the noble pilgrims, both clergy and laity escorting my mediocrity, have come in gleefulness and with a contrite heart to the Holy City of Jerusalem and the seat of the venerable Throne of Saint James the Brother of God, which Your Beatitude has been ministering with merit, in order to venerate the Empty Tomb of Christ and receive the Grace of the Holy Sepulchre and the Patriarchal blessing of Your Beatitude.
We wholeheartedly glorify the Resurrected Lord for this blessing and honour and gracefully thank Your Beatitude for the reception and hospitality, as well as for the valuable time which You have most willingly offered the shepherd and pilgrims of the fifth continent.
During the small period of my ministry in Australia, I have realized that our reverend people have always set the noetic eyes of their hearts towards the All-holy Shrines and frequently visit the Holy Land, in order to walk on the places where Christ walked, and receive the mystical grace and spiritual empowerment. And there used to be a tradition, that our faithful Christians should annually visit the All-holy Shrines under the lead of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, always combining their visit with a pilgrimage to the sacred centre of Orthodoxy, our Ecumenical Patriarchate. We considered it worthy and fair, Your Beatitude, to also continue this holy tradition, which strengthens our faithful in the Resurrected Christ, but also proclaims with our presence here the unity and the close spiritual relationship between the two Patriarchates; of Constantinople and of Jerusalem.
As You surely are very well aware, Your blessed predecessors the Patriarchs of Jerusalem had been guests in Constantinople for centuries and always marched side by side with the memorable Patriarchs of Constantinople for the defense of the Orthodox Doctrines and the valuables of our noble nation. This, moreover, is witnessed by their frequent participation to the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the participation of many Bishops who were in Constantinople, as verified by many Patriarchal Acts which are co-signed and in full agreement among them with significant issues of the Orthodox Church.
Today, Your Beatitude, we boast, and personally my mediocrity boasts in the Lord, because this tradition of the cooperation and togetherness between the two venerable Patriarchates is being continued on the same basis and becomes even more powerful and stable with Your glorious Patriarchal Office, as a capable captain of the vessel of the Church of Jerusalem, as this has been obvious in the past with many important issues of the Orthodox Church, with dominant that of the convocation of the Holy and Great Synod of Crete, where the God-inspired presence of Your Beatitude was catalytic.
We are sure that our unity of purpose and thought on the significant matters of the Church will continue in the future, for the glory of Christ and the salvation of the faithful Orthodox Christians.
I convey, Your Beatitude, the brotherly osculation and deep love of H.A.H. the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and I assure You, that the Leading and Suffering Church of Saint Andrew the First-called will always be a helper and a supporter of the Church of Jerusalem, of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and of course, of Your Beatitude, the venerable, humble and worthy Primate of this Church.
I join my humble prayers with those of His All-holiness my Patriarch Bartholomew and of the children who escort me from Down Under and gratefully and reverently, thanking Your Beatitude for one more time for the reception and hospitality, I wish that the Resurrected Christ may grant You health, longevity and success in the governing of the vessel of the Church of Jerusalem.
Many happy returns, Your Beatitude”.
…and offered His Beatitude a pastoral rod.
Receiving the blessing of His Beatitude, the Most Reverend Archbishop of Australia began his pilgrimage, guided by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias.