THE FUNERAL SERVICE OF THE BLESSED METROPOLITAN CORNELIUS OF PETRA
At 10:00 am on Monday, 2/15 May 2023, the funeral service of the blessed Metropolitan Cornelius of Petra was held at the monastic Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, presided over by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with the participation in prayer of the Hagiotaphite Hierarchs, His Eminence Metropolitan Epiphanios of Ledra from the Church of Cyprus, Hieromonks and local Priests. His memory was also honoured by the presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras, the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate Archimandrite Dometianos and members of the faithful of Jerusalem and other cities.
The obituary was delivered by Geronda Secretary-General, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina as follows:
“Your Beatitude Father and Master,
Reverend Chorea of the Hierarchs,
Consul General of Greece,
The departure to the Lord of our beloved and respected brother, His Eminence Metropolitan Cornelius of Petra, drew us from our earthly cares, brought us to contemplation, and invited us to his tabernacle, so that we may pray for the repose of his soul in the ascending course of his soul to heaven and the Throne of the Most High. Carrying out this human and ecclesiastical duty, our hearts are burdened by the sorrow of separation and we stand in awe before the mystery of death, which has found us. But after the hymn of the Church, we exclaim, “What is this mysterious thing about us, how did we surrender to corruption, how did we associate with death?” In order to overcome this embarrassment, the fact that our Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, bearing our human nature and sharing it, shed tears at the tomb of his four-day dead friend Lazarus and raised him from the dead comes as a reinforcing tale.
Likewise, “born in agony” in the garden of Gethsemane, reflecting on the cup of death of Him, however, fulfilling the Father’s will, He willingly came to death and even to the Cross for our sake. Through His death, He trampled over death, defeated death, rose from the dead, and “gave us eternal life, that is, after our earthly tabernacle is removed, life after the saints and righteous in the land of the living. Sorrowing, nevertheless, “not like the rest who have no hope”, as the apostle of the nations says, but turning to our sorrow the hope in the Risen Lord, we send forward our brother, Metropolitan Cornelius of Petra, adding to our prayers, in consequence, the things of his life from his young age until today.
We remember that he was born in the commune of Magarikarion of Messara, district of Monofatsi, Heraklion, Crete, in the year 1936.
As soon as he graduated from the Elementary Education of his birthplace, he was on his way to the Holy Land. When he arrived in Jerusalem, he studied in the Priestly School of Saint Demetrius, like most of the Hagiotaphite Fathers. After graduating, he joined the Brotherhood as a monk and was ordained a Deacon, and served in various ministries. He was then sent to Halki’s Higher Theological School of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. After graduating from it, he returned to Jerusalem, was ordained a Priest, and was sent for further education to the Institute of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Geneva. After his return, he was appointed a member of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Archivist and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine “New Zion” and Head of the Patriarchal School. In 1976 he was elected and ordained Archbishop of Sebasteia and appointed Patriarchal Representative in Bethlehem. In 1991 he was promoted to the Metropolitan of Petra and was appointed President of the Ecclesiastical Court of First Instance serving in this position after consistently and accurately applying the rules of the Church and the written laws of the state. He was the Patriarchal Commissioner and Custodian of the Throne of Jerusalem in 2001 and 2005 contributing very much from this high position to the maintenance of the necessary ecclesiastical balance, stability, and peace in critical periods of the life of the Patriarchate and the Brotherhood.
In all the ministries assigned to him, he served with zeal and dedication, having as his guiding principle the interest of our Holy Common and the protection of the rights of the Patriarchate and our nation in the Holy Land.
We, therefore, beseech our merciful and gracious God, that he may show the good things of his works, forgive him whether he sinned voluntarily or involuntarily, and grant him the kingdom of God and eternal life in the enjoyment and rejoicing of the light of His face. So be it. Everlasting his remembrance.”
Escorted by His Eminence the Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa, the departed to the Lord, dear and respected Hagiotaphite brother of ours, the blessed Metropolitan Cornelius of Petra, was buried at the cemetery of the Patriarchate on the hill of Zion.
Everlasting his remembrance!