On the evening of Saturday the 23rd of June/5th of July 2013, the graduation ceremony was held at the School of Remli of the Rum Orthodox Community.

The School was founded twenty five years ago by the Greek Orthodox Community of Remli in the days of the late Diodoros, Patriarch of Jerusalem, with the Patriarchate’s moral and financial support.

Gradually, the School evolved into a Nursery School, an Elementary, a Gymnasium and a Lyceum numbering today 714 students and 60 teachers. Indeed, it is considered today one of the best in the city, with its students performing very well and succeeding at the exams for the University.

At the ceremony, His Beatitude Theophilos, Our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, accompanied by the Right Reverend Isychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolias, the Most Reverend Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina, the Hegoumen at the Holy Monastery of Myrophorae in Remli, Guardian of the Holy Sepulcher, Archimandrite f. Nephon, conferred the titles upon 61 graduates and went on to address them in Arab, see: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/ar/2013/07/06/2530/

Also attending the ceremony was the Mayor of Remli, Mr Yoel Levy and the President of the Community and one of the school’s founders, Mr Michel Ksur.

From the Secretariat-General



On Monday, the 18th of June, the beginning of the fast of the holy Apostles/1st July 2013, His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, left Jerusalem accompanied by the Patriarchal Commissioner, the Most Reverend Isychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolias, the Elder Sacristan Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina, and the Hegoumen of Fhes, Archimandrite Ieronymos.

Crossing the Allenby Bridge over the river Jordan, located on its outfall into the Dead Sea, His Beatitude proceeded to Southern Jordan, in the region of Karak city.

In the city of Anter, bordering Karak, and particularly at its refugee housing, His Beatitude distributed humanitarian aid to children and youth, displaced from Syria, but also to impoverished people from Jordan. The aid was offered by the “Refugee Aid” NGO and collected by the Patriarchal Office in Amman, headed by Mrs Wafa Ksous. The aid came in the form of sanitary ware, food, clothes, toys and stationery.

Attending this humanitarian event was the Greek Ambassador to Jordan, Mrs Louiza Marinaki, Mrs Wafa Ksous, father Ioannis, head of the Karak parish, father Antonios, the vicar of Anter, the priest of the town of Hmoud, f. Constantinos, and the Prefect of Karak region Mr Ahmed-il-Asaf, who welcomed His Beatitude to the area of Karak and thanked him for the distribution of gifts.

From the town of Anter His Beatitude left for the city of Karak, where he visited the Holy Church of the Patriarchate dedicated to St George. The church preserves remarkable elements of antiquity, e.g. a very great monolith baptistery, an inscription with the name of the Metropolitan of Petra, Meletios, the Metropolitan of the Holy Light, evidently because at the time, circa 1853, he imparted the Holy Light in place of the ailing Patriarch. This holy Church will soon be renovated in accordance with its age.

From the Church His Beatitude entered the adjacent hall of events, where he distributed presents to the children of the Karak parish School of Catechism. The children chanted hymns and religious songs to everyone’s contentment.

Subsequently, His Beatitude briefly visited Ms Maisou, the well-known Arab teacher of the Guardians of the Holy Sepulcher in Karak and blessed her house.

At noon, His Beatitude, His retinue and the Ambassador to Jordan, Mrs Louiza Marinaki, attended a luncheon held in their honour by MP Mr Fares Ksous at his residence.

After this, His Beatitude extended His condolences to the Shaouareb family on the death of the father, the late Akram-Abu-Moursin.

Arriving from Kara to Amman, Jordan, His Beatitude visited the family of Senator Dr Ziyad Saraiha and extended his condolences over the death of his mother, Euphrosyne.

Later, His Beatitude extended his condolences to the Hmoud family, a member of which died in a car accident. The deceased was a high-ranking employee of the UNRWA NGO managing the humanitarian aid of the Zaatar refugee housing.

Subsequently, His Beatitude arrived at the Metropolis in Amman, where he was received by the Most Reverend Benedict, Metropolitan of Philadelphia.

From the Metropolis His Beatitude left for Jerusalem.

From the Secretariat-General



On the evening of Wednesday, the 13th/26th of June 2013, the newly-enthroned and elected Archbishop of Canterbury under the Anglican Church, His Grace Mr Justin Welby, accompanied by His Grace the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Jerusalem, Mr Suheil Dawani, and associates of his Church, visited the Patriarchate.

The Head of the Anglican Church was received by His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in the presence of Fathers of the Holy Sepulcher, and the heads of other Churches in Jerusalem, namely: the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, the Lutheran Bishop, the Coptic Bishop, the Syrian Bishop and a priest of the Ethiopian Church.

The Archbishop, Mr Justin Welby, was given a welcome address by His Beatitude Theophilos (see link:  https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/2013/06/26/2572/ ) and was bestowed the supreme honour of the Patriarchate, specifically the Cross of the Order of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, in recognition of his efforts towards conciliation, peace and unity.

After the decoration, His Beatitude presented His Grace with a handbook bearing an icon of St Justin, his namesake philosopher and martyr, the book of the Ecclesiastical History of Jerusalem by Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, two silver candlesticks, a golden cross for his wife, and an icon of Theotokos for his associates.

Touched by this gesture, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr Welby, thanked His Beatitude by saying that, albeit British, he found it difficult to express in English words his emotions over the honour bestowed upon him by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the other Heads of Churches.

“It is for me”, he said, “a great honour indeed, the fact that I find myself in the Holy Land during the period of Pentecost. I come to you in the fear and terror of Crucified Christ, on the word of the Apostle Paul. My first priority is personal and ecclesiastical renewal; the second, the establishment of exchange between churches; and third, the preaching of the Gospel, suffering for the Gospel, just as you suffer in this area, especially Syria. I pray for all of you, that you endure uncomplainingly and courageously. We know how much your Community suffers. Yet, the accomplishment of your mission is possible through God’s grace. You are the guardians and keepers of the All-holy sites of pilgrimage, and you too pray for us profoundly”.

Subsequently, brief addresses were given by the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, the Anglican Bishop, the Lutheran, Coptic and Ethiopian Bishops, underlying the need for accord between Christians in the Middle East, and requesting international support to their country, so that they may enjoy equal citizenship rights in the State wherein they reside.

As for the hoary-headed Dr Ioannis Tlil, member of the Christian Community in Jerusalem, he offered the Archbishop his book “I am Jerusalem”.

After a private conversation in the office of His Beatitude, the Archbishop of Canterbury left for his Church.

From the Secretariat-General




On Friday 1st/14th of June 2013, the new Ambassador of Bulgaria to Israel, Mr Dimitar Mihailov, together with the Deputy Ambassador, visited His Beatitude Theophilos, Our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, in order to submit his credentials on the occasion of the commencement of his term.

His Beatitude welcomed the newly appointed Bulgarian ambassador with whom he discussed issues pertaining to countries of the Middle East, where Mr Mihailov had served in the past, but also the preservation of the status quo in Jerusalem, the situation in Syria, the abduction of two Syrian prelates and the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

The Bulgarian ambassador conveyed to His Beatitude the fraternal embrace of Neophytos, the new Patriarch of Bulgaria, at the election and enthronement of whom the Patriarchate had been represented by the Most Reverend Timotheos, Metropolitan of Bostroi, and the Very Reverend Archimandrite Ieronymos.

Mr Mihailov thanked His Beatitude for the participation of the Church of Bulgaria in the Holy Light ceremony on Holy Saturday and for the stance of the Patriarch of Jerusalem in favour of the Bulgarian Church, in its hour of need.

In his reply, His Beatitude informed the Ambassador on the religious and cultural contribution of the Patriarchate since its dawn, during the days of the Byzantine Empire, to nowadays.

Upon that, His Beatitude and the Ambassador proceeded to mutually exchange gifts.

From the Secretariat-General



On the evening of Tuesday, the 22nd of May/4th of June 2013, a reception was hosted in honour of the recently ordained Philoumenos, Archbishop of Pella, organized by his clan in his birthplace of Fhes, a suburb of Amman, Jordan. The Arab community is structured according to this division system across tribes of cultures (known as clans), namely wider family groups.

Archbishop Philoumenos was honoured by the presence of His Beatitude Theophilos, Our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, and of his retinue from Jerusalem, namely Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina and Grand Chancellor, f. Issa Musleh, head of the Arab section at the Patriarchate’s Press Office, Hegoumen Archimandrite f. Ieronymos and his holy aides, and several dignitaries and laymen, numbering approximately 500, residents of Fhes and other cities, members of the family and clan of the Most Reverend Philoumenos and in the presence of the Prime-minister of Jordan, Mr Abdullah Ensour.

During the course of the dinner and reception, the Most Reverend Archbishop of Pella addressed His Beatitude, welcoming and thanking Him on his election, paying tribute to his birthplace, Fhes, and expressing his gratitude to his parents, the members of his clan, his compatriots and His Majesty the King of Jordan.

Addresses were also directed by other State and communal delegates, who referred to the history of the city of Pella-Irbet, the name of which has been conferred on the title of the Most Reverend Philoumenos from the beginning of Christianity, when between the years 70-132 AD it was inhabited by Christians of Jerusalem. Reference was also made to the honour bestowed upon the city through the election of the Most Reverend Philoumenos, and to the conditions of peaceful coexistence among Christians and Muslims under the tolerant and wise rule of His Majesty, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein.

His Beatitude Theophilos, Our Father and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, offering an icon of the Mother of God as present to the Most Reverend Archbishop Philoumenos, closed the reception with this reply, at link: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/ar/2013/06/04/2444/

On the following day, Wednesday the 23rd of May/5th June 2013, His Beatitude visited the city of Irbet in Northern Jordan and was informed on the renovation works underway for the installation of the recently appointed Patriarchal Commissioner of Northern Jordan Towns, Philoumenos, the Archbishop of Pella.

From the Secretariat-General



At 5:00 pm of Saturday the 19th of May/1st of June 2013, the graduation ceremony of 20 graduating students took place at the hall of ceremonies of “St Demetrius” Patriarchal School, in the presence of His Beatitude Theophilos III, Our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem; the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem, Mr Soterios Athanasiou and his honorable wife, a Greek Language teacher at the School; the representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the Palestinian Autonomy, Mr Antonios Samoutis, the representative of the Palestinian Autonomy Minister of Education, Mr Samir Gabriye, the Chairman of the School Board of Patriarchal Schools in Israel; the Most Reverend Esychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolia, the Grand Chancellor Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina; the Patriarchal Commissioner in Irbet, Jordan, His Eminence Philoumenos, Archbishop of Pella; Archdeacon f. Athanasios, Hierodeacon f. Eulogios, the School’s Principal Mr Samir Zananiri, teachers at the School and the graduates’ parents and other relatives.

The building of the School of “St Demetrius” which was essentially the latest expansion of the Patriarchate towards the Jaffa Gate, served as the Patriarchate School from which most of the either departed or living guardians of the Holy Sepulcher had graduated until the year 1970, when the School was transferred to the building now standing out on top of the Hill of St Sion.

The premises of the Hieratic School were offered from 1985 onwards by Diodoros, the Late Patriarch of Jerusalem, for the accommodation of a Preschool, an Elementary School, a High School and a Lyceum, maintained by the Patriarchate under the name “St Demetrius”, owing to the existence within the school complex, of an ancient Chapel in honor of the glorified great martyr St Demetrius the Myrrh-Bearer.

The well-organized ceremony began with the prayer “Christ is risen” in Greek and “Al Massih Kam” in Arab, followed by recitations of the National Palestinian Anthem and the Greek National Anthem.

The School Principal, Mr Samir Zananiri went on to extend his gratitude to His Beatitude for the moral and material help offered by the Patriarchate to the School, to Mr Hanna Amire, Chairman of the Committee on Christian Affairs, for the financial aid provided by the Palestinian Autonomy towards repairs and renovations at the School, and also praised the graduates for their performance and ethics, wishing that they successfully pursue their studies and perform well in society.

Two graduates offered flowers to his Beatitude and the Chairman of the School Board for their support to the School.

Students at the Preschool, Elementary School, High School and Lyceum, boys and girls alike, performed Palestinian dances.

Three representatives of the graduating students spoke on behalf of their peers, one in Arab, one in English and one in Greek, pointing out how difficult it is to be diligent and perform well, and how such difficulties may be overcome with the help of parents and teachers, to whom they extended their deep gratitude.  

A touching moment at the ceremony was the presentation of the Principal with an honorary plaque and the “change of guard” between this year’s (2012-2013) graduating students and seniors of the next academic year.

The ceremony was concluded with an address of His Beatitude in Arab, as follows at:https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/ar/2013/06/01/2429/ stressing the importance attributed by the Patriarchate to the education of youth at schools maintained on its own expenses and the donations of charity foundations where the coexistence of Christian and Muslim students is favored and promoted and greatly contributes to the peaceful symbiosis and cooperation between such fellow students.

The ceremony closed with His Beatitude and the Professors conferring the titles to the graduating students, followed by the Palestinian National Anthem and His Beatitude’s prayer for longevity.

From the Secretariat-General



Holy City of Jerusalem, 27 of June 2012

 Granting of the National Decoration of the Order of “Manuel Amador Guerrero” in the grade of “Great Cross” to

His Most Godly Beatitude, the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, Arabia, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Holy


“Good Morning, His Most Godly Beatitude, the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, Arabia, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Holy Zion, Theophilus III,

Eminences and Brothers and Sisters in Christ of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy of Jerusalem,

 Distinguished Guests and Friends,

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

 It is with great joy that I extend a fraternal greeting to all gathered here today, in representation of His Excellency Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, President of the Republic of Panama, His Excellency Roberto Henriquez, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic, and in the name of the people of my country, in order to award the Republic of Panama’s National Decoration of the Order of “Manuel Amador Guerrero” in the grade of “Great Cross” to His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III.

As Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Panama to the United Nations, and particularly as a devout member of the Orthodox Faith, allow me humbly express the profound sentiment of honor that it is to be in this sacred city and before your Holy

Beatitude, as an envoy of the people of Panama in the justified granting of our Nation’s most distinguished decoration.

The Order of “Manuel Amador Guerrero”, named after the first president of our Republic, was created by the Government of Panama on 29 October 1953, marking the fiftieth anniversary of our Independence, to award exceptional civil, scientific, artistic and humanitarian services and merits.

This National Decoration represents the Government of Panama’s recognition of His Holy Beatitude’s relevant merits, exemplary personal integrity and His outstanding contribution to the Orthodox Church around the world, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy of Jerusalem’s custodianship of the Holy Land and its historic, cultural and natural heritage, which are a patrimony of all mankind.

The Government of Panama welcomes His Holy Beatitude’s religious leadership, and His advocacy for peace and interfaith dialogue is duly recognized as an extension of God’s work on Earth and a dissemination of the Lord Jesus Christ’s message of unconditional love and reconciliation. In these times of international tension, sociopolitical upheaval and economic hardship, the agency and goodwill of the Orthodox Church is of critical significance. Panama duly acknowledges His Holy Beatitude, Theophilus Ill’s vital role in inculcating this Word of Faith that leads the way to moral rectitude, redemption and salvation, across all borders and social barriers. For that, our people will be forever grateful.

Panama harbors a growing community of around one thousand strong-and-growing members of the Orthodox Church. This community, tracing its roots to the construction of the Panama Canal and one of many convivial Panamanian ethnicities, is known by the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs as one of Central America’s largest and most organized. Our first Greek Orthodox

Church, in honor of Saint Anthony, was built in my hometown of Colon in 1937.

It is for these and many more reasons that it pleases His Excellency Ricardo Martinelli, President of the Republic of Panama, to bestow upon His Holy Beatitude, Theophilus III, the Order of “Manuel Amador Guerrero” in the grade of “Great Cross”, and it is my profound honor and pleasure to present it to Your Holiness in the name of my Government and our people. It is the hope of the Government and peoples of our Republic, that the bonds of friendship and cooperation we share with the Orthodox Church continue to grow, develop and strengthen, now and forevermore”.

Words by His Excellency Pablo Antonio Thalassinos, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of The Republic of Panama to the United Nations.


Holy City of Jerusalem, 27 of June 2012.


 DECREE NUMBER 194 of 1 June 2012

by which is granted the National Decoration of the Order of “MANUEL AMADOR GUERRERO”, created by Law 22 of 29 October 1953.


THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC using his legal powers,


 FIRST: His Most Godly Beatitude, the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, Arabia, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Holy Zion, THEOPHILUS III, one hundred forty-first (141) descendent of James and elected primate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem on 22 August 2005, and under whose responsibility lies the protection and preservation of the Holy Sepulcher and the Holy Shrines:

SECOND: His Most Godly Beatitude Patriarch THEOPHILUS III of Jerusalem, born in Gargalianes, city of Triflya of Messinia, in 1952. Studied Theology in the University of Athens, completed a Masters in Durham, England, and also studied in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Along with his Greek native language, dominates English, Arab and Hebrew;

THIRD: His Most Godly Beatitude Patriarch THEOPHILUS III of Jerusalem has undertaken important positions such as Archdeacon for then Patriarch Benedict I, priest of Cana of Galilee, Archbishop of Tabor, Secretary of Holy and Sacred Synod, responsible for the Press and Information Office of the Patriarchate, among others. He was also part of the Nour al Masih society, empowered to spread the Orthodox Christian faith. Has participated as exhibitor in diverse seminars and scientific conferences in Jerusalem and Greece;

FOURTH: That it constitutes a great honor for the National Government by means of this decoration to recognize His Most Godly Beatitude Patriarch THEOPHILUS III of Jerusalem, a man of proven personal integrity and loyal belief in the Orthodox Church, whom in his laudable labor and permanent watchfulness, continues guiding his work with the only end of serving God with devotion and further inculcate among us faith in Him.



SOLE ARTICLE: To grant the National Decoration of the Order of” MANUEL AMADOR GUERRERO”, in the Grade of “Great Cross”, to His Most Godly Beatitude Patriarch THEOPHILUS III of Jerusalem, for his relevant merits.



Given in the city of Panama, on day 1 of the month of June of the year two-thousand twelve (2012).

[SIGNATURE] RiCARDO MARTINELLI B. President of the Republic

[SIGNATURE] ROBERTO C. HENRIQUEZ Minister for Foreign Affairs


On Wendsday the 5th / 18th of March 2012, His Highness Prince Ghazi of Jordan escorted by Sheikh Ali Gomaa the Grand Mufti of Egypt and by other religious and political personalities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and of the Palestinian Authority, in the presence of the Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel Mr. Cesar Marzie visited the Patriarchate.

His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III received His Highness Prince Ghazi of Jordan along with Fathers members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre. Welcoming the Prince His Beatitude said that Jerusalem is an example of religious symbiosis of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

On occasion of this visit His Beatitude presented to the Emir a replica of the Nativity Church made from mother of pearl and a book of the Koran also decorated with mother of pearl. His Beatitude presented to the Grand Mufti of Egypt a plaque with inscripted passages from the Koran.

After this visit to the Patriarchate, the Prince with His Beatitude escorted by Fathers -members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre descended from the Central Monastery via the Cathedral of St. James to the Church of Resurrection and the Holy Shrines therein.

Chief Secretary’s Office.



On Holy Tuesday, the 28th of March / 10th of April 2012, the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre – whose superior is His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III visited on occasion of their  Easter the Fransciscan Brotherhood  and the Latin Patriarchate, following the years-long established order of exchanging visits during the feasts.

After these first two visits, His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III escorted by the Chief Secretary His Eminence Aristarchos Archbishop of Constantina visited the Apostolic Delegate who is the Representative of the Pope to Jerusalem and the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani while His Eminence Timotheos Metropolitan of Vostra visited the Lutheran Bishop in Jerusalem Mounib Yiounan and the Propts of the German-speaking Community in the Holy Land Rev Uew.

His Beatitude reciprocated properly according to the circumstance all the addressees and below is the address of His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem to the Custo, in the English language (please see the link https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/2012/04/10/1960/)

Chief Secretary’s Office.