On Tuesday, the 25th of June/8th of July 2014, Mrs Kate Clerides, the daughter of the late President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Glafcos Clerides, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs (of Cyprus), and Mr Ioannis Iacovou, Deputy Director of the Service for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots of the Republic of Cyprus, visited the Patriarchate.

These distinguished visitors were received by H.B. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and Hagiotaphite Fathers.

In the context of this visit, an interesting discussion took place on the patriotic work of the late President Clerides, on the need for a just solution to the Cyprus problem, and on the presence of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Cyprus, especially after the recent inauguration of the Exarchy of the Holy Sepulcher on the island.

On the occasion of this visit, Mrs Clerides and Mr Ioannis Iacovou offered His Beatitude a present on behalf of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Anastasiades, namely a silver lekythos. His Beatitude, in return, offered a fine icon of Panaghia Jerusalemite and the book on the History of the Church of Jerusalem by Chrysostomos Papadopoulos.

Thanking His Beatitude for receiving them, Mrs Clerides and Mr Iacovou proceeded to venerate at the Holy Sepulcher in the company of the Most Reverend Philoumenos, Metropolitan of Pella.

From the Secretariat-General




On Tuesday, the 25th of June/8th of July 2014, fifty members of the Rum Orthodox Community of the Patriarchate from the town of Karak, South Jordan, and other Jordan cities, visited the Patriarchate under their Steward, f. John.

They were warmly received by H.B. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem in the presence of Hagiotaphite Fathers. The Patriarch spoke to the guests of the spiritual links between the Patriarchate and its Jordan flock within its irrevocable jurisdiction since the beginning, and advised them to study and observe the history and tradition of the Orthodox Church.

Before leaving to venerate at the Holy Sepulcher and other shrines, guests were offered Jerusalemite memorabilia and the blessing of His Beatitude.

From the Secretariat-General



On Saturday, the 22nd of June/5th of July 2014, the Most Reverend Nikolaos, Metropolitan of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, with a group of pilgrims from his Bishopric, including pilgrims from the parish of St John Chrysostom headed by father Asterios, visited the Patriarchate.

This large and distinguished group was received by Patriarch Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers.

His Beatitude spoke of the work of salvation, carried out in the Holy Land by means of the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This work, performed in the Holy Land by Christ, is extended across the centuries through His Church. Participating in this work, are pilgrims visiting the Holy Land in order to venerate.

The head of the group, namely the Most Reverend Nikolaos, Metropolitan of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, warmly thanked His Beatitude for receiving them in the Church of Sion, for the spiritual work performed by the Church of Jerusalem and for His words of encouragement to pilgrims.

Addressing His Beatitude, the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Mesogaia explained that amongst the pilgrims are several members of the group founded by him in order to console terminal cancer patients. The group bears the name “Galilee” to commemorate the work carried out by Jesus in Galilee and the whole of the Holy Land and to preserve hope, as told in the Scriptures:  “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned” (Matthew 4, 15-16).

His Beatitude thanked the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki for supporting the Patriarchate through pilgrimage visits and otherwise, and blessed the pilgrims before their tour along Mount Sion and the Cenacle.

From the Secretariat-General 




On Tuesday the 19th of June/2nd of July 2014, Steward f. Nikolaos and fifty members of the Community of Madaba, Jordan, visited the Patriarchate.

They were welcomed by H.B. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, in the presence of Hagiotaphite Fathers, who praised the priest and members of the Community for the ecclesiastical and educational work they perform in this historical town and the Greek Orthodox Church preserving a mosaic known as “The Madaba Map”, representing the Holy Land during the time of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Before their departure, guests were offered numerous Jerusalemite eulogias.

From the Secretariat-General



On Saturday the 13th/28th of June 2014, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Nektarios of Petra and Cherronisos, of the Church of Crete, while on a pilgrimage visit to the Holy Land, and heading a group of 100 pilgrims from his Bishopric and other Bishopric of Crete, was received by H.B. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem.

Addressing His Beatitude, the Metropolitan of Petra praised Him and the Hagiotaphite Fathers for their centuries-long work of guarding the Holy Lands.

His Beatitude thanked the Metropolitan of Petra for his support towards the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and went on, in recognition of his contribution, to award him the title of the Supreme Taxiarch of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher.

Moved, the Metropolitan of Petra thanked His Beatitude for the honour conferred on him, and pledged to carry on manifesting his interest in favour of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in favour of the pilgrims and the glory of God.

From the Secretariat-General 




On Saturday, the 15th/28th of June 2014, a one-hundred-member group from the flock of the Patriarchate, among whom the priest, f. Elias, teachers and pupils of Zndeinde Community, visited the Patriarchate.

This large group, varying in ages and offices, was received and blessed by H.B. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, as children performed church and other songs, offering them icons and other eulogias, and pledging to soon make a pastoral visit to their Community.

From the Secretariat-General



On Tuesday the 11th/24th of June 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova, Mrs Natalia Gherman, while on a visit to the state of Israel, visited the Patriarchate accompanied by a group of her associates and the Moldovan Ambassador to Israel, Mr Anatol Vangheli.

They were received by His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, in the presence of Hagiotaphite Fathers.

His Beatitude welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister by pointing out that the Patriarchate recalls the links it always had with Moldova, as Patriarchates and Primates from the Hole Sepulcher used to visit the country to catechize its people.

The Patriarchate, said H.B., has inherited the Byzantine spiritual and natural heritage and through it, it carries on its religious and cultural work.

In response, Mrs Gherman thanked His Beatitude and expressed her interest in seeing her nation maintaining its close links to the Patriarchate and accepting the blessings of the Holy Sepulcher for its welfare.

The Moldovan nation, added Mrs Gherman, has distinguished itself for its bravery, honour and dignity, mostly during the period of Stefan the Great. Today it has resumed its Orthodox tradition, which had been interrupted under the communist regime, and lives in a new era of religious freedom and freedom of expression.

Living in a country which favours peaceful religious coexistence, said she, we are sorry to witness disputes and conflicts in our neighbouring countries. Mrs Gherman is the daughter of the first President of Moldavia, which led Moldavia to religious freedom after the fall of the communist regime. She herself was baptized as a grownup.

In response, His Beatitude remarked that the Patriarchate strives for the religious character of Orthodox states and for the religious character of Jerusalem too.

He went on to offer the Deputy Prime Minister a gold pectoral cross and an icon of Theotokos Jerusalemite.

Mrs Gherman offered the Patriarch an album of Moldovan landmarks and Moldovan wine, before proceeding to venerate at the Church of the Resurrection.

From the Secretariat-General 




On Sunday the 9th/22nd of June 2014, the Patriarchal Commissioner in Bethlehem, His Eminence Theophylaktos, Archbishop of Jordan, hosted lunch at the renovated Hegoumen’s Quarters of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem for H.B. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, accompanied by the Most Reverend Isychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolias, and His Eminence Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina. Also invited were religious personalities of the Palestinian Autonomy, such as imams, as well as political figures, i.e. the newly elected Chief Judge Mahmoud Habbash; Waqf Minister Yusef Dwesh; the newly appointed Prefect of Bethlehem Mr Al-Bari; Mr Ziyad Baddak, member of the P.A. Committee on Christian Affairs, as well as numerous members of the Rum Orthodox Community in Bethlehem.

During lunch, Patriarch Theophilos addressed guests in Arabic, see link: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/ar/2014/06/22/6084

He went on to present Chief Judge Mr Mahmoud Habbash with a plaque representing Jerusalem and a second plaque with a relief representation of Palestine.

The Chief Judge thanked His Beatitude for the invitation and the presents, and congratulated all on the meeting which, as he said, took place in the heart of Palestine, namely Bethlehem, where Christians and Muslims live as one people, and where thousands of pilgrims flock to venerate either the Holy Sepulcher or the Omar-Haram al Sharif Mosque, as has been the case since the days of Omar Al Hatab’s treaty with the ever-memorable Patriarch Sophronios of Jerusalem.

Mr Habbash added that Christians are not a minority within the Palestinian State; they are, he said, a majority alongside the Muslims and that Muslims owe to respect the Gospel as they respect the Koran: respect they Church as they respect the Mosque.

From the Secretariat-General



On Tuesday the 4th/17th of June 2014, a delegation of excellent students from Bulgaria, the winners of an essay contest amongst Bulgarian schools, visited the Patriarchate led by their teacher, Mr Yaakov Djerassi.

The students, who competed for the theme “The rescue of Bulgarian Jews during World War II” were received by his Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, in the presence of Hagiotaphite Fathers. After welcoming the group, the Patriarch gladly listened to their teacher commenting their efforts and excellent performance.

In His response, His Beatitude praised their endeavours and talked about the sacred tradition and history of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, as well as about the peace-making role carried out by the Patriarchate in the Holy Land. He went on to offer them Jerusalemite eulogias and wish them success in their courses.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the students and their teacher went on to venerate at the Holy Sepulcher.

From the Secretariat-General



On Tuesday the 14th/27th of May 2014, His Majesty King Abdullah ibn Hussein of Jordan received at the palace delegates of Orthodox Churches, headed by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem.

The meeting took place at the invitation of the king (see photo) addressed to the Heads of Orthodox Churches through Patriarch Theophilos. Positively responding to the invitation were the Patriarchates of Russia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.

The distinguished delegates arrived in Jordan on the day before the Meeting.

On the evening of Monday the 13th/26th of May 2014 they were hosted to dinner by the Patriarchal Commissioner in Amman, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Benedict, in the presence of Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina and the Hegoumen at Fhes, Archimandrite Ieronymus.

His Majesty the King of Jordan received the delegates on Tuesday the 14th/27th of May, for lunch at the palace.

At the beginning of lunch, His Majesty the King welcomed the Patriarch and Church delegates as “brothers”, congratulating them on their participation in that historical meeting and in the scheduled assembly at the Lord’s baptismal site. The assembly, held in favour of a peaceful coexistence of religions, contributes to the efforts made by Jordan in the context of its custodianship of both Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, towards supporting Christian and Muslims in Jerusalem and the occupied areas against the challenges of extreme Israeli elements.

The Jordanian Government, according to the King, continues to have its say over the frozen but not ceased negotiations between the Israeli and the Palestinians, and can already see their results, while several other issues are expected to be resolved too, such as the Jerusalem question. The King went on to say that they wanted for the churches to look at Jordan as an open door for positive response and the royal Hashemite family as their supporter.

On the evening of the aforementioned day, the representatives of Churches assembled on the site of the Lord’s baptismal, on the Easter Bank of the river Jordan, at the Monastery of St John the Baptist, erected by Metropolitan Benedict of Philadelphia.

There, the Patriarch of Jerusalem put on a mantle and a pallium before they all prayed for reconciliation, understanding, peace and justice. The Arab-speaking choir of the Bishopric in Amman chanted in Greek and Arabic.

His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos went on to recite a wish for peach. Likewise, all representatives of the Orthodox Churches recited a wish for peace in their own language.

The Patriarch then addressed all those present in English, see link: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/2014/05/27/7172

After His address, His Beatitude offered Prince Emir Ghazi and each delegate an icon of Theotokos, before hosting all to dinner at the “Four Seasons” hotel in Amman.

From the Secretariat-General