HIS BEATITUDE THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM AWARDS THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE METROPOLITAN OF ANEA
On Thursday afternoon, October 4/17, 2019, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos received at the Patriarchate Reception Hall many pilgrims from the Holy Metropolis of Nea Ionia under the lead of Archimandrite Epiphanios and groups of pilgrims from Bulgaria and America.
In this meeting His Beatitude spoke to the pilgrims about Jerusalem as a Holy City, which has been watered with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, and about the sanctification of the pilgrims through veneration.
Present in this meeting with the group of the Metropolis of Nea Ionia was the Most Reverend Metropolitan Makarios of Anea of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
His Eminence the Metropolitan of Anea was honoured by His Beatitude with he medal of the Grand Commander of the Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, in recognition of his respect and support to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, as well as in recognition of his long-term work as a Bishop’s Assisitant (of Lampsakos then) in the Ecumenical Patriarchate Centre of Sambesy, helping all who joined in the work of the preparation of the Holy and Great Synod of Orthodoxy, in love, simplicity, brotherhood, hospitality and genuine humility.
Emotional, the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Anea thanked His Beatitude for the honorary distinction, referring to his bond with older Hagiotaphite Fathers in his student life in Halki, who were, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kornelios of Petra, the memorable Metropolitan Palladios of Ptolemais, the memorable Metropolitan Basil of Caesarea and the memorable Archimandrite Sophronios.
UNITED STATES CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS MEET WITH PATRIARCH THEOPHILOS AND HEADS OF CHURCHES AT THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM
On Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, 2019, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, together with representatives from the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of Churches, welcomed a United States Congressional delegation (CODEL) to the Patriarchate in order to discuss the role of the Churches in Jerusalem and some of the current challenges they face, including threats to the Status Quo of the Old City and its the multi-religious and multi-cultural character, such as the Jaffa Gate properties case.
Joining the CODEL were Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Representative Alcee Hastings (D-Florida), Representative (R-South Carolina), and Representative Andrew Harris (R-Maryland), together with several staff members. Present with His Beatitude from the Heads of Churches were His Eminence Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Auxiliary Bishop of the Latin Patriarchate, and the Very Revd. Dr. Hosam Naoum from the Anglican Church, Dean of Saint George’s Cathedral and Secretary of the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of Churches.
His Beatitude discussed the long-standing role of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem in protecting the Holy Sites for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, the importance of maintaining the Church’s independence, which is being challenged today by particular radical groups and individuals who seek to undermine its vital role in the Holy Land, and the significant work of the Churches for all people throughout the region.
The CODEL declared its enthusiasm to engage with the Churches in their historic and on-going work, learning more about the movements that threaten the Christian presence such as the Jaffa Gate case, which could potentially endanger the pilgrimage route to the Christian Quarter and Holy Sepulchre Church, and deepening channels of communication between the United States and the Churches in Jerusalem.
To this effect, the International Community of the Holy Sepulchre (ICOHS), which has been instrumental in facilitating contact between the Churches in Jerusalem and the representatives of the US government and other organizations, will continue its work in the United Kingdom and other countries, bridging parties and taking the lead on projects of common concern.
Upon completion of the meeting, representatives from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the US Embassy escorted the CODEL to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where they venerated the sites of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF GREECE MR. ANTONIOS DIAMANTARIS VISITED THE PATRIARCHATE
On Friday morning, September 21/ October 4, 2019, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Mr. Antonios Diamantaris visited the Patriarchate, as part of his agenda in his visit in the State of Israel, escorted by the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos.
Mr. Diamantaris was warmly received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, Dragouman Archimandrite Mattheos and other Hagiotaphite Fathers.
In this meeting the Minister was informed by His Beatitude on the Status Quo of Jerusalem and the place of the Christians of the Holy Land in the areas of the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate, whose historical role is the long term preservation and safeguarding of the All-holy Shrines, as a follower of the Byzantine Empire.
As a pilgrim in the Holy Land, Mr. Diamantaris said he is happy for this visit and meeting and conveyed the wishes and respect of the Prime Minister of Greece to His Beatitude. Moreover, the Minister was committed to continue his undivided and real interest for the multifaceted and precious mission of the Patriarchate.
In appreciation of his support to the Patriarchate, His Beatitude honoured Mr. Diamantaris with the medal of the Grand Commander of the Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and offered him blessings from Jerusalem, while seeing him off to continue his pilgrimage at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
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.
THE CONSUL GENERAL OF GREECE IN ADELAIDE VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE
On Tuesday morning, August, 28/ September 10, 2019, the Consul General of Greece in Adelaide, Mr. George Psiahas, son of the late Dionysios Psiahas, Diplomat at the Consulate of Jerusalem and graduate of the Patriarchate School of Zion, visited His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, escorted by his mother and wife. Mr. Psiahas asked His Beatitude’s blessing for the christening of his daughter at the God-receiving Cave of Bethlehem on the evening of the same day.
Mr. Psiahas thanked His Beatitude for this blessing of the visit and christening of his daughter and offered Him a bottle for the keeping of myrrh, while His Beatitude offered him a silver painting of Jerusalem. Mr. Psiahas continued his pilgrimage at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Christening of the daughter of the Consul General of Greece in Adelaide
On Tuesday afternoon, August 28/ September 10, 2019, the christening of the daughter of the Consul General of Greece in Adelaide Mr. George Psiahas took place at the God-receiving Cave of Bethlehem, according to the Status Quo right of the Greek Orthodox Christians.
The christening was held by the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina after the Patriarch’s appointment, along with the ministering Priest of Bethlelehm Fr. Spyridon, and the Deacons Eulogios and Patrikios, at the presence of H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos, the christened Laura’s parents Mr. George Psiahas and Mrs. Eleni Psiaha and other relatives along with her godmother.
His Beatitude and His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, who held the christening and used to be Mr. Psiahas’ teacher at the School of Zion in the 80s, wished the newly christened girl spiritual and physical health.
VISITS AT THE PATRIARCHATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE DORMITION
On Thursday morning, August 16/29, 2019, a 45-member group of doctors from Thessalonica, led by the Lung specialist Professor of Theageneio Hospital Mrs. Theodora Tsiouda, visited the Patriarchate.
This exquisite group was received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers.
Speaking to the group members on the importance of the pilgrimage in Jerusalem, whose land has been watered by the redeeming blood of the Righteous One, and which has held His three-day burial, His Beatitude thanked Mrs. Tsiouda for the diversified medical assistance to the Hagiotaphite Fathers and others who need treatment.
Later, on the same day, His Beatitude received a group of thirty graduates of the Patriarchal Seminary of the Holy Zion, who came on an organized pilgrimage by the former school student Mr. Michael Trivizadakis.
His Beatitude praised them for their return to their former boarding school and they thanked Him for all things they received from the school. Then they were guided by the Managing Director of the school of that time and current Librarian to the central Library of the Patriarchate.
Finally, His Beatitude received a group of 105 pilgrims, led by Metropolitan Timotheos of Thessaliotida and Fanariofersala and the Hegoumen of the Holy Metropolis Agathoniko.
USAID ADMINISTRATOR VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE TO MEET WITH COUNCIL OF HEADS OF CHURCHES
On August 8/21st, 2019, Mr. Mark Green, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), visited the Patriarchate together with other representatives of USAID and the United States administration.
The delegation was received by H.H.B. our father and Patriarch Theophilos along with other members of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and members of the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, including Bishop Ibrahim Sari from the Lutheran Church, Secretary of the Council Fr. Husam Naom from the Anglican Church, as well as the former Mayor of Bethlehem Mrs. Vera Baboun.
During their meeting, H.H.B. Patriarch Theophilos thanked USAID for its contribution to the region, especially in Gaza, where the humanitarian situation especially impacts the growth of young people. The multi-faceted Christian contribution to the community at large, irrespective of religious or ethnic background, is vital to the everyday lives of individuals and families, as well as for reconciliation in the region.
It was emphasized that the quality of life in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories could be significantly improved through meaningful projects and aid in the areas of education, housing, and employment, especially until lasting political solutions are found. The Churches of the Holy Land look forward to working with USAID to this effect. While the Churches have for centuries supported the community through their own infrastructure of schools, hospitals, community centers, and outreach to the needy, they bear a burden that is increasingly heavy.
The continued vibrancy of Jerusalem and the Holy Land is dependent upon the Christian presence being able to thrive in its ancient birthplace. Bishop Sari, Fr. Husam, and Mayor Baboun gave illustrations as to how the Christians of the Holy Land, the “little flock” to which the Lord said, “Fear not,” and as the “small piece of yeast,” which “made the whole flour leavened” (Luke 13:21), is worthy of the support of Christians around the world in order to remain in the cradle of Christianity. A lasting peace in the region must also include the Christians presence in the Holy Land.
THE ANGLICAN BISHOP REV. SOUHEIL DAWANI VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE WITH A GROUP OF BISHOPS & PILGRIMS
On Thursday noon, August 2/15, 2019, the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Most Reverend Souheil Dawani visited the Patriarchate, escorted by a group of the Anglican Church Bishops from various continents and a group of Anglican pilgrims.
The exquisite group was warmly received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers. His Beatitude welcomed and informed the guests for the mission of the Patriarchate and the cooperation relations it holds with the Anglican Church in England and elsewhere.
His Beatitude also added the role of the Patriarchate for the preservation of the religious and Christian character and Status Quo of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Thanking Him, Bishop Souheil Dawani stressed the good relations of the Patriarchate with his Church, as it is made clear by the meetings of all the Churches at the Patriarchate by the care of H.H.B. and the Mass Services that the Anglicans hold by the permission of the Patriarchate at the chapel of the Monastery of Abraham next to the Horrendous Golgotha and on their Christmas Eve at the chapel of St. George next to the Basilica in Bethlehem.
Finally, His Beatitude offered souvenirs from Jerusalem as blessings to the members of the group.
HIS BEATITUDE THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM AWARDS THE JOPPA SCHOOL GRADUATES WITH THEIR SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATES
On Saturday evening, June 23/ July 6, 2019, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos awarded the “Archangel Michael” Joppa School Graduates with their School Leaving Certificates. His Beatitude was escorted from Jerusalem by the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Dragouman Archimandrite Mattheos, the Patriarchate Representative for the Arab-speaking M.M. Priest Issa Mousleh, Archdeacon Mark, and from Joppa the Most Reverend Archbishop Damascene of Joppa and the Priest of Joppa Fr. Constantine.
The Graduation Ceremony was well organized and took place at the School building which belongs to the Patriarchate well before 1948. The building was used for a while by the Israeli army but has again been returned to the Patriarchate.
The Graduation ceremony included a parade of the seven School Graduates, each one escorted by their mother, the address of the Manageress of the School Mrs. Natzla Hanhan, who stressed the good education offered to the School students, which enables them to continue their higher education and have a good career, and also mentioned the material and moral support of the Patriarchate to the School. The ceremony also included addresses from the School students, one in Arabic, one in English and one in Hebrew. In the, the students thanked their teachers and parents for their twelve-year support in their education.
The ceremony also included Arabic dances and traditional Arabic songs, bouquet offering to the students’ mothers, honorary distinction to the teachers who showed professional educational consciousness in their work, handing over the baton to the final year high school students of the next school year and raising the flag of the School.
The ceremony came to an end with the address of H.H.B. read by Presbyter Father Issa Mousleh, accompanied by a financial offer to the School and was sealed by the award of the title to each one of the Graduates with the wishes “congratulations,” “good luck”, “good career”.
HIS BEATITUDE THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM AWARDS THE RAMLEH SCHOOL GRADUATES WITH THEIR SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATES
On Saturday evening, June 16/29, 2019, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos visited the School of the Greek-Orthodox Community of Ramleh, the ancient Arimathaea of Israel, escorted by the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, the Most Reverend Archbishop Philoumenos of Pella, the Hegoumen of Ramleh Archimandrite Niphon, the Hegoumen of Fuheis, Archimandrite Ieronymos, Dragouman Archimandrite Mattheos and Archdeacon Mark.
This town is currently inhabited approximately by seventy thousand citizens of Israel and Palestinians who did not immigrate in 1948.
The Community of the town founded a School in 1990, during the Patriarchal Office of memorable Patriarch Diodoros, with the moral and financial support of the Patriarchate.
His Beatitude visited the School for the Graduation Ceremony of the 24 male and female graduate students.
The ceremony included entertaining students’ acts, the addresses of the Manageress Mrs. Ihlam Mahoul, of the President of Jamaeye Mr. Fayz Mansour, of the Israeli Mayor of the town and of His Beatitude. His Beatitude’s address was read in Arabic by the Most Reverend Archbishop Philoumenos of Pella and was followed by the awarding of each one of the students with their School Leaving Certificates, expressing the warm wish for their Academic and Professional success.