THE VISIT OF HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP ELPIDOPHOROS OF AMERICA AT THE PATRIARCHATE
At midday on Friday, November 19/December 2, 2022, the Most Reverend Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, leader of a seventy-five-member pilgrimage group of pilgrim clergy and laity and “Archons” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate visited the Patriarchate.
The Most Reverend Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was warmly received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, welcoming him and his companions as coming from the Queen of the Cities and from the “Great Church in captivity”, as the famous historian Steven Runciman characterizes it and coming to the land, which is holy because it was watered with the redemptive blood of our Saviour Christ on the cross and because it housed the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead, in the Life-Giving Tomb, which the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood preserves like the pupil of its eye.
In response, His Eminence the Archbishop of America thanked His Beatitude for this visit and for the Divine Liturgy, for which arrangements had already been made, to be held next Saturday evening to Sunday, November 21/December 4, 2022, on the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple and the visiting of the Holy Shrines, which the Hagiotaphite Fathers have tirelessly and sleeplessly guarded throughout the centuries, underlining that through this visit the way is opened and widened for the arrival of more pilgrims to the Holy Land, even after the past pandemic, and that through this visit the ever-existing bonds of fellowship and cooperation in Christ of the Church of Jerusalem after the Ecumenical Patriarchate are strengthened.
For this visit, His Eminence the Archbishop of America offered His Beatitude a plaque of the 150 years since the foundation of the Archdiocese of America, and the latter offered His Eminence an Episcopal engolpion, an icon of the Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre and the book of the History of the Church of Jerusalem by Chysostomos Papadopoulos. His Beatitude also gave blessings from Jerusalem to the pilgrims of the group.