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A METROPOLITAN FROM THE PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE

On Monday afternoon, May 3/16, 2022, His Eminence Metropolitan Theodoros of Helioupolis from the Patriarchate of Alexandria visited the Patriarchate, as the spiritual guide of Greek-Orthodox pilgrims.

His Eminence was warmly received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers.

At this visit, His Beatitude and His Eminence “remembered days of old” when the Metropolitan of Helioupolis used to visit the Patriarchate as Archimandrite Theodoros (Demetriou) and companion of his blessed Geronda, the Metropolitan Theodoros (Tzedakis) of Lambis and Sfakion, along with the Archimandrite Theodoros Horeutakis, who is now the Patriarch of Alexandria, as members of an association that the blessed Metropolitan Theodoros (Tzedakis) had established with the name The Holy Shrines. At that time, His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos was the Hegoumen of the Shrine in Cana.

His Beatitude offered His Eminence for this visit an Episcopal engolpion and icons of the Theotokos and the Sacred Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre.

From Secretariat-General




THE SUNDAY OF THE PARALYTIC MAN AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Sunday, May 2/15, 2022, the Patriarchate celebrated the Sunday of the Paralytic Man, the 4th Sunday after Pascha according to the Book of Pentecostarion.

H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, after the welcoming reception by the Scouts, officiated the Divine Liturgy at the Community of Rhene, near the city of Nazareth.

Co-celebrants to His Beatitude were their Eminences, Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, the Geronda Secretary-General, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios, Archimandrite Artemios, the Dean Priest of this community Priest Simeon, Priest Stephen from the Church of Greece, other Priests, Archdeacon Mark and Hierodeacon Eulogios.

The chanting was delivered by the Byzantine Choir of the Community in Arabic, and many local faithful Christians attended the Service.

Before the Holy Communion, His Beatitude delivered the following Sermon:

“At the sheep’s pool a man lay in sickness and when he saw Thee, O Lord, he cried: I have no man that when the water is troubled, he might put me threrein. And straightaway, taking compassion on him, the Saviour saith unto him; for thee I became man, for thee, I am clothed in flesh, and sayest thou: I have no man? Take up thy bed and walk” the hymnographer of the Church proclaims (Vespers, Entreaty, Glory).

Beloved brethren in Christ,

Noble Christians

Marvellous is our God, who has gathered us today in the faithful community of Rheine, to celebrate the Pascha of the Lord in gleefulness and joy, as we commemorate the miracle of the healing of the paralytic man who had been ill for thirty-eight years at the Sheep’s pool (ref. John 5, 5-9).

During His presence on earth, the Lord worked many signs in order to reveal His glory so that they might believe in Him, and to show His healing power to anyone who asked for it, which stemmed from the obedience and faith in Him, the Son and Word of God.

“And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool” (John 5,5-7).

Interpreting this verse from the Gospel, the Holy Fathers of the Church wonder why our Saviour chose this certain paralytic man? Because he was suffering from an incurable disease; “For what reason did Jesus pass by all other (ill people) and came to this man? To show both the power and the philanthropy; the power, because the illness had become incurable and had seized the man; and the philanthropy because Christ and guardian and philanthropist saw this man before all others as he was indeed worthy of mercy and benevolence”, Saint Chrysostom says.

To Christ’s demanding question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5,6) Saint Chrysostom says that as the healer of our bodies and souls, Christ referred to the double paralysis of both the sins and the body. In other words, when there is mention in the Holy Scriptures about sin, we should understand this as our infirmity of both the soul and the body, which resulted in the death of corruption as Saint Paul preaches, having the Old Adam in mind: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5,12).

And Saint John the Baptist calls upon the words of Prophet Isaiah and says: “he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53,4). Seeing “Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1,29). And the wise Paul says: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15,3).

Moreover, according to Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, the Lord came on earth “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2,14), and “to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins”. Let us hear the Holy Father saying: “wherever there is Christ, there salvation lies. And if he sees a publican sitting at the cashier, He makes him an apostle and an evangelist; and if He is buried with the dead, He makes them rise. And He makes the blind to see, the deaf to hear; and He visits the pools, not to see the buildings, but seeking to heal the sick”.

It is noteworthy that the paralytic man was healed not by the water of the pool, but by the working of the power of the word of our Saviour Christ, as the hymnographer says: “O Lord, not the pool, but Thy word healed and renewed the paralytic; nor was he hindered by his sickness of many years; for the power of Thy voice proved to be more effectual. And he cast off the weight that was grievous to bear and carried the burden of his bed as a testimony to the multitude of Thy compassions. Glory be to Thee”(Matins, Glory of praises).

The paralytic man became healthy instantly when he heard the Lord’s words “Take up thy bed and walk” (John 5,8-9). And the swift healing power of the Lord’s voice is no other than the overshadowing of the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. And we say this, because the Church is the pool, namely the healing place of our souls and bodies, while the Holy Sacraments, which are being held by the power of the Holy Spirit are the medicine that lead to the cure. According to Saint Chrysostom, the manner of treatment is common and the medicine is available for all. However, healing is not common for all, but it is achieved by the goodwill of those who use it.

Celebrating the Lord’s Pascha, my dear brethren, let us hear the divine voice of the Resurrected Christ: “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28,20).

And let us say along with the hymnographer; “Having risen from the dead, Thou didst raise us also from the passions by Thy Resurrection, O Lord: And Thou didst destroy all the might of death, O Saviour, for this cause we cry out in faith: Remember us also in Thy Kingdom” (Sunday of the Paralytic, at the Liturgy, Troparion 2).

Christ is risen! Many happy and blessed returns!”

At noon the Community hosted a meal and among the celebrating guests were the Mayor of the city and the Sheikh.

His Beatitude addressed all present at the meal as follows:

“The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down” (Psalm 145,14), the psalmist says.

Reverend Holy Fathers and Brethren,

Your Excellency President and respected members of the Ecclesiastical Committee,

Noble Christians,

The light of the Resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ which has filled both the earth and the heavens, as well as the parts below the earth, has gathered us all here so that along with the hymnographer Saint John of Damascus we may say: “Willingly becoming poor with Adam’s poverty, O Christ God, Thou camest upon the earth, incarnate of a Virgin. And Thou didst accept the Cross that Thou mightiest free us from slavery to the enemy. O Lord, glory to Thee”(Wednesday after the Myrrh-bearing women, Matins, 1st Troparion of praises, of the Crucifixion).

And we wonder, who is the enemy of the slavery of man? The devil, namely the lord of this world (ref. Eph. 6,12) has put men under tyranny. Form this tyranny of the devil did Christ liberate us through His Resurrection, as Luke the Evangelist says in the Acts of the Apostles: “ye know… Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10,37-38).

Through the pure flesh of the Ever-Virgin and Theotokos Mary, in the Holy Spirit, the Son and Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate and took the same form of us men, so that He may transform the body of our humility to become of the same form with the body of His glory (ref. Phil. 3,21), that is, the body of His Resurrection.

In other words, my dear brethren, Christ conquered the death of corruption and sin and in more detail, the death of the body and soul’s paralysis, through His own death. And this happened, according to Saint Athanasius the Great, “so that the conciliation of God toward man may also be freedom of the whole humankind through man in the form of the new image of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord”.

We, my dear brethren, being members of the body of Christ, have the Holy Church of Christ as our “Sheep’s pool”, where the healer of our bodies and souls is always present, both visibly and invisibly. God has granted us this great and unique beneficial and philanthropic Providence.

This Divine Providence is no other than our Mother and natural feeder, the Church of Jerusalem, the Venerable Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which throughout the centuries has remained a beacon and steadfast keeper of the truth in Christ, the faith in Christ, a guardian of the fatherly morals and an enemy of every newly-appearing seemingly religion, such as the Globalization and the New Order.

Christ and only Christ and His Church is the pool of life and the harbour of our recourse. Let us not turn our eyes and attention anywhere else, but only toward Christ, Who is the leader and founder of the faith and makes us perfect in it, as Saint Paul preaches: “…Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12,2)

Christ is risen! Many happy returns, blessed in the freedom of Christ!”

From Secretariat-General




MEETING OF H.H.B. WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AFTER DIPLOMATS OF STATES OF LATIN AMERICA

On Thursday, April 29th / May 12th, 2022, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos received a group of representatives of the Christian Churches, the Latin Patriarchate, the Custodian of the Holy Land, the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church after the Diplomats representatives of the Latin America States.

His Beatitude spoke to them about the work of the Churches, having to deal with the challenges which the Christian flocks have recently faced, and asked for their support, to which they committed themselves.

 Regarding the question about the hotel “Small Petra”, His Beatitude replied that the court decided that its occupation by extremist elements is illegal, however, it did not decide on their eviction, nor their eviction from other hotels that they have seized.

“Nevertheless,” said His Beatitude, “we are fighting together and with hope for the change of such hidden situations.”

From Secretariat-General




A GROUP OF GREEK PARLIAMENT MEMBERS VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE

On the afternoon of Tuesday, April 27 / May 10, 2022, a group of Greek MPs, accompanied by the Ambassador of Greece to Tel Aviv Mr Kyriakos Loukakis and the Consul General of Greece Mr Evangelos Vlioras visited the Patriarchate.

This group was received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers.

In the context of this visit, replying to their questions, His Beatitude informed them about the last tense situation for political and religious reasons, and the attempt by the Patriarchate along with the other Churches of Jerusalem for the prevalence of recession, conciliation and peace for the safeguarding of the multi-religious and multicultural character and of the Status Quo of Jerusalem, as well as of the Old City.

To the question regarding the division in the Orthodox Church nowadays, His Beatitude said that the Patriarchate as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Land makes many efforts to mitigate and narrow the created schism, projecting dialogue as a means of achieving unity.

For the preservation of the Status Quo, it recommends the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan which has sustained the Custody over the Holy Land.

To the question, of how Greece can help, His Beatitude said that this is possible if it fulfils its role, which was given to Greece as the successor of the Byzantine Empire.

For this visit, the MPs offered His Beatitude a painting with the House of Parliament, while the latter offered them a silver painting of Jerusalem and an icon of the Theotokos of Jerusalem.

From Secretariat-General

 




VISIT OF CARDINAL FERNANDO FILONI THE GRAND MASTER OF THE EQUESTRIAN ORDER OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE.

On Tuesday 27 April/ 10 May 2022, the Cardinal His Most Rev. Eminence Fernando Filoni, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre visited the Patriarchate, accompanied by His Beatitude the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem and the Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and other associates of him and the clergy of the Latin Patriarch.

The Most Reverend Cardinal was received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers, welcoming him amidst a festal period and a tense situation in Jerusalem.

On this visit the Cardinal addressed His Beatitude, underlining the philanthropic and educational activity of the Order of Knights where He belongs.

Thanking him His Beatitude said that his words is encouraging for the Christian presence in the Holy Land and referred to the contribution of the current Patriarch in Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, former Custos of the Holy Land, to the Christian cooperation and the renovation of the Edicule of the Holy Sepulcher. This cooperation, His Beatitude said, continues to this day in a genuine Ecumenical Spirit and genuine dialogue. Through this cooperation, we face the recent known challenges and pressures by radical extremist elements against the Christians, who are the living stones of the body of Christ, the Church. His Beatitude wished the Cardinal success in his visit and offered him a silver painting of Jerusalem and blessings from Jerusalem to his companions. The Cardinal offered His Beatitude an emblem of the Order of Knights and a precious notebook.

On the afternoon of the same day, the Cardinal had an official entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, according to the existing Status Quo.

From Secretariat-General




MR JORDAN PERRY VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE

On Tuesday, 27 April/ 10 May 2022, Mr Jordan Perry of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of G. Britain visited the Patriarchate. The political analyst Mr Perry was received by His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers. At this meeting, His Beatitude explained to the political analyst the situation that the Churches of Jerusalem and their faithful members have been facing recently, due to the pressures from the radical elements of Ateret Cohanim, who had recently seized the “Little Petra” hostel and some years ago they also seized and still hold to this day the guest house of Saint John near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

His Beatitude also referred to the difficulties the Churches and especially the Rum Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem faced on Holy Saturday, at the Service of the Holy Light. These were the Police restrictions, following a Governmental law, which reduced the number of incoming faithful to the minimum, resulting in the inability of the faithful Christians to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The reason behind these situations is that the Jewish people lack knowledge of the Christian cultural heritage.

These difficulties are dealt with by each one and altogether the Churches, and with their meetings that took place at the Rum Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem under the care of His Beatitude.

Mr Perry was attentive to His Beatitude’s words and promised to contribute to the solving of this situation with all the available means in his power.

From Secretariat-General




MEETING OF THE MAYOR OF JERUSALEM WITH THE HEADS OF CHURCHES

On Monday afternoon, 26 April/ 9 May 2022, the Mayor of Jerusalem Mr Moses Leon met with the Heads of Churches of Jerusalem at the Monastery of the Franciscans in Jerusalem – Custody of the Holy Land.

At this meeting the Abbot of the Franciscans Fr Francesco Patton addressed the Mayor, underlining that the Jewish Passover was celebrated recently, during which the Jews remember the freedom God gave them from the bondage of Egypt. The Christian Easter was celebrated as our transference from the bondage of sin to the freedom of the Resurrected Christ. Ramadan was also celebrated as a period of acquiring the virtues of fasting, abstinence and the help of the poor.

All these happened in Jerusalem, setting an example to remind us not only of the co-existence but also the brotherhood, the community of values ​​and principles of life. “Believing these, we wish you Mr Mayor, wisdom and power to work toward the prosperity of all citizens of Jerusalem regardless their religion or nationality”.

On this occasion, the Franciscan Brotherhood offered its emblem to the Mayor.

After the Custos, H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos addressed Mr Mayor as follows:  

“Mr Mayor,

Your Beatitudes,

 Your Eminences,

Your Graces,

Ladies and Gentlemen

We thank you, Mr Mayor, for your kind invitation to this gathering in this festive season. This is a time of the year when the eyes of the world are turned toward Jerusalem, and when we are most aware of the importance of Jerusalem not just for those of us who live here, but for the whole of humanity.

As the focal point of the divine-human encounter, Jerusalem has a universal significance that transcends all human boundaries and divisions. We are all sons and daughters of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is the spiritual home of all people of goodwill, regardless of their origin or creed. As we read in the Scriptures, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Luke 13,34).

This Paschal season makes visible the mission of the Church in maintaining this special character of Jerusalem and in upholding the multicultural and multifaith heritage that we share. As you are well aware, this unique identity of Jerusalem and its universal vocation are the serious peril from Israeli radical groups whose actions threaten the very fabric and foundation of this Holy City. So egregious is their activity, that it is catching the attention of religious and governmental leaders around the world, who recognise the dangers of such groups, and we cannot but express our deep concern to you.

The Churches are willing to work together with you for the common benefit and common good of all our people, but this work must rest upon mutual respect and the security of the historic rights and privileges of the communities that make up our society. We wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our fellow Heads of the Churches, especially His Paternity Father Francesco, who has been instrumental in building up our common witness.

We are living in challenging times, and the role of Jerusalem is of greater significance to the human family than ever before. We understand fully the complexities of the issues that we face, and we are committed to finding appropriate solutions that will contribute to the well being of all our people.

May God bless you, Mr Mayor, and your colleagues, in the work that you do on behalf of our Holy City and all who live here and come here on pilgrimage.

Thank you.  

From Secretariat-General

 




A GROUP OF GREEK-AMERICAN PILGRIMS VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE

On Monday morning, 26 April/ 9 May 2022, a group of twenty-five Greek-American pilgrims visited the Patriarchate, accompanied by their Priests Fr Ioannis and Fr Mihail from the Holy Archdiocese of America.

The group was received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers. His Beatitude spoke to them about Jerusalem, being the spiritual capital of the whole world and about the Holy Sepulchre of our Lord Jesus Christ being “blessed” because it received the immaculate Body of our Lord and God Jesus Christ and it is a source of power from the Resurrected Christ.

His Beatitude’s words concluded by offering Priest’s crosses to the two Priests and souvenirs/blessings from Jerusalem to the pilgrims.

Both Priests thanked His Beatitude for His words and hospitality.

From Secretariat-General

 




THE FEAST OF THE MYRRH-BEARING WOMEN SUNDAY AT THE PATRIARCHATE

Sunday 25 April/ 8 May 2022 was celebrated by the Patriarchate as the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women according to the book of Pentecostarion.

On this Sunday the Church commemorates Saint Joseph of Arimathaea – present-day Ramle – who asked Pilate for the Lord’s body and buried Him along with the Myrrh-bearing Women.

This event was celebrated in Ramle, at the Holy Monastery of the Patriarchate, with the Divine Liturgy which was officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with co-celebrants their Eminences, the Archbishops, Aristarchos of Constantina, Damascene of Yaffo, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and Arab-speaking Priests, with the attendance of a large congregation of the Orthodox faithful of this city.

Before the Holy Communion His Beatitude delivered the following Sermon:

“Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre” (Mark 15,43-46) Mark the Evangelist testifies.

Beloved Brethren in Christ,

Noble Christians and pilgrims

Today the Holy Church of Christ honours and venerates the commemoration of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women and that of the secret disciple, Joseph from Arimathaea, the current city of Ramle. According to the witness of the Evangelists, the Myrrh-bearing Women were true witnesses of the Resurrection, while Joseph and Nicodemus of the burial of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as of His God-man nature of His.

“The Myrrh-bearing Women were the first people to see the Resurrection and they evangelised it to the disciples” according to the synaxarist. These women were the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection. “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him” (Mark 16,6). Joseph and Nicodemus were distinguished for their bravery and boldness as Mark the Evangelist says: “Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus” (Mark 15,43).

Christ’s resurrection, my dear ones, is the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets, that is the revelation of the purpose of the mystery of the incarnation of God the Word through the pure flesh of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. In other words, the Myrrh-bearing Women and the Lord’s secret disciples Joseph and Nicodemus were given the grace of witness and speak about the One of whom “we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled” (John 1,1).

This graced of the Holy Spirit was given to the former blasphemer and persecutor and injurious (1 Tim. 1,13) Saint Paul, when he was called unto his Apostolic office. He says: “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph. 3,8-10).

We, my dear brethren, being members of the body of Christ, that is the Church, which He beautified with His own blood (ref. Acts 20,28), have become communicants of this incomprehensible richness of Christ and the enlightenment of the mystery which was hidden for centuries in God, as well as of the diverse wisdom of God.

Indeed, the Church of Christ is his empty tomb, where “we receive the experience” (ref. Hebrews 11,36) of our resurrection in the communion of the body and blood of Christ during the Divine Liturgy. “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6,54) the Lord says. Our Holy Church of Christ is the place of “the Lord’s Pascha”, namely the place, or rather the empty tomb from which Christ God transfers us from the death of corruption and sin (= infirmity) to life eternal and from the earth to heaven, as the hymnographer says: “We celebrate the death of death, the destruction of Hades, the beginning of everlasting life. And with leaps of joy we praise the cause thereof, the only blest and most glorious God of our Fathers” (Easter Sunday, Ode 7, Troparion 3).

Saint Paul scorns those who say “that there is no resurrection” (1 Cor. 15,12) saying that if Christ is not risen then the faith of us Christians is in vain. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Cor. 15,14).

Pointing out the power of faith the Holy Apostles and Evangelists advice thus; Saint Paul says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Col. 2,6-7). Judas, the brother of James the brother of God writes in his letter: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Judas 3). Saint John the Theologian preaches: “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5,4). No one can face our faith, which through works has gained the trophies for us, Saint Cyril of Alexandria says.

““We celebrate the death of death, the destruction of Hades, the beginning of everlasting life,” the hymnographer says, paying heed to Saint Paul’s preaching: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15,20). In other words, being perfect God and perfect man, Christ became the firstfruits of those who slept, because He was the first of men to tumble down death, just as our ancestor Adam entered the death of sin and became the firstfruits of the fallen, leading us to corruption, Saint Cyril of Alexandria says.

And according to Saint Gregory Palamas, “the Lord’s resurrection is the renewal of the human nature, it is the reviving and renewal and restoration of the first Adam to the eternal life, because he was devoured by death because of sin and through death he regressed to the earth by which he was created”.

Just like Eve was the first one to see Adam, likewise the first one to see the resurrected Christ was also a woman, Saint Gregory Palamas says. “First of all others was a woman that saw Him; the Theotokos received first the gospel of the resurrection, as it was befitting and righteous, and she saw Him resurrected before anyone else, and enjoyed His divine voice”.

Through His Resurrection our Lord and God Jesus Christ inaugurated the entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, therefore, we, my dear brethren, let us entreat the Most Blessed Theotokos, the Myrrh-bearing Women and Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, who buried the Lord, that by their intercessions we may be deemed worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen. Christ is risen! Many happy and peaceful returns!”

The feast was organised by the energetic Hegoumen Archimandrite Niphon, who addressed the Patriarch and hosted a meal along with the Community Council. At the meal His Beatitude addressed those present as follows:

“Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious” (Psalm 66,1-2), that Christ is risen!

Reverend Holy Fathers and Brethren,

Respected President and honourable members of the Community Council,

Your Grace Archimandrite Niphon,

The grace of Christ’s secret disciple Joseph has led our footsteps to his hometown, the biblical Arimathaea, the current Ramle, to celebrate along with our Rum Orthodox flock living here the Lord’s Pascha, namely the three-day burial and the luminous Resurrection of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This event of our blessed Paschal gathering of both the clergy and the people shows the hypostatic power of the truth of our Christian faith, according to the true testimony of the Evangelist John who says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1,14).

This glory of “the only begotten of the Father” Who is immortal is preached and confessed boldly by the Holy Church of Christ and especially by the Mother of all Churches, namely the Church of Jerusalem, which is founded on this very place of Golgotha, the sanctified by the divine blood on the Cross, but also by the new and empty tomb, from which the true shone forth, the Light of the Resurrected Christ.

This unwaning light of the glory of the Resurrected Christ, namely the truth, peace, righteousness and love of His, as well as His infinite philanthropy, is served throughout the centuries in the Holy Land by the visible and invisible presence of the Church of Jerusalem, the Venerable Rum Orthodox Patriarchate, which always follows the Lord’s commands, “Fear not” (Matt. 10,31), “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16,33). “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5,4-5).

We say this because in our days the power of evil and lawlessness is active as Saint Paul preaches: “the mystery of iniquity doth already work” (2 Thess. 2,7). However, we, my dear brethren, are fortified by the divine light and the hope of the resurrection and neither worry nor flinch, because as Saint Paul says, “God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2,13-14). Christ is risen! Many happy, blessed and peaceful returns!”

This feast was also celebrated at the chapel of the Myrrh-bearing Women within Saint James Cathedral, with the Divine Liturgy which was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa. Co-celebrants to His Eminence were the ministering Priests of the Cathedral, Fr Farah Bandour and George Baramki. The chanting was delivered by Monk Joseph of Mount Athos and Fadi Abdelnour in Greek on the right, and by the Cathedral’s choir under Mr Rimon Kamar in Arabic on the left. The service was attended by the parish members of this Cathedral.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Myrrh-bearing Women’s association of the Cathedral’s community hosted a reception at the Ouzud restaurant.

From Secretariat-General




A GROUP OF GEORGIAN PILGRIMS VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE

On Saturday morning, 24 April/ 7 May 2022, a group of two hundred Georgian pilgrims led by Mr Lasa-George Zvania and accompanied by the Ambassador of Georgia in Israel visited the Patriarchate.

The group was received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers and spoke to them about the mission of the Church of Jerusalem and its relation with the Patriarchate of Georgia and other Churches.

On this visit these pious pilgrims offered His Beatitude an icon and addressed Him as written below:

We glorify the distinguished Georgian Holy Fathers Prochoro, Luke and Nickolao the Holy Martyr. We beseech God for the protection of His Beatitude the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine Theophilos III, all the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre, our father His Beatitude Catholic-Patriarch of all Georgia Elias II. May He protect our people from any irreverence and guide all to the path of truth.

We offer this icon of the three Georgian Fathers from Jerusalem in love and offer it for the protection of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III.

The commemoration of the Holy Fathers is on 25 (12) February.”

His Beatitude gave them souvenirs/blessings from Jerusalem.

Asking for His Beatitude’s blessings, the group left to venerate the Holy Sepulchre.

From Secretariat-General