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THE FEAST OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Sunday, May 9/22, 2022, the Patriarchate celebrated the Sunday of the Samaritan woman according to the book of Pentecostarion.

On this feast, the whole Church and especially the Church of Jerusalem commemorates the event that has been handed over to us by Saint John the Evangelist (John 4, 5-42). According to this narrative, a woman from Samaria from town Sychar came to draw water from Jacob’s well and met the Lord there. He conversed with her and revealed to her that “He is the Messiah Christ” and that “God is spirit and those who worship Him shall do so in Spirit and in truth”. With His God-inspired words and because Christ told her the things she had done in her life, she believed and preached about Christ and finally suffered a martyr’s death along with members of her family, brothers, daughters and her son.

In honour of Saint Foteini, the Samaritan woman, twenty-five years ago, the Archimandrite Ioustinos Mamalos built a magnificent Church at the place of Jacob’s well, along with a chapel dedicated to the Holy Martyr Philoumenos the Hagiotaphite who suffered martyrdom at the well.

In this Church, the Divine Liturgy for the feast was officiated by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos with co-celebrants their Eminences, Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, and the Archbishops, Aristarchos of Constantina, Philoumenos of Pela, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, among whom the Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios, and Archimandrite Ieronymos. The chanting was delivered by Archimandrite Leontios in Greek and the Community Choir in Arabic as the service was attended by many local faithful and pilgrims from various Orthodox Christian Churches, and faithful from the occupied territories of Samaria, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Bethlehem.

Before the Holy Communion His Beatitude delivered the following Sermon:

“At the sixth hour, the Well-spring of miracles came to the well to capture the fruit of eve; for Eve at this same hour departed from Paradise through the deceit of the serpent. The Samaritan woman, then, approached to draw water, and the Saviour, upon seeing her, said to her: Give me water to drink, and I shall fill thee with living water. And running to the city, that prudent woman at once announced to the multitudes: Come, see Christ the Lord, the Saviour of our souls”, the hymnographer of the Church proclaims (Vespers, sticheron of the Samaritan woman 1).

Beloved Brethren in Christ,

Noble Christians and pilgrims

The grace of the Samaritan woman has gathered us all in this holy place of the Patriarch Jacob’s well, where Jesus met her, so that we may celebrate the great and wondrous doings of the Lord on earth so that we should gain the knowledge of His redeeming truth.

“There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink… Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw” (ref. John 4,7-15).

At the meeting and conversation of the Son and Word of God with the Samaritan woman, we have the revelation of the infinite philanthropy of the Saviour Christ, “Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2,4). The Lord Himself revealed that He is the fountain of eternal life when He told the Samaritan woman “but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4,14).

Interpreting these words of the Lord, Saint Cyril of Alexandria says: We must know that the Lord calls the grace of the Holy Spirit water, and if somebody becomes communicant of this grace, then he will have as supply the knowledge stemming from the Holy Scriptures, having thus no need for admonition by others.

In other words, my dear ones, the enlightening grace of the Holy Spirit “shines forth and is visible” not only to the souls of the illiterate and uneducated people, like the Samaritan woman but also to the souls of those who have faith in their hearts and long to know the most perfect mysteries, Saint Cyril of Alexandria says.

Precisely because the Samaritan woman showed zeal in learning the doctrines and the truth of the Lord, as well as the correct manner of worshipping God, Jesus revealed to her two things: first that “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4,24). And secondly, that He is the Messiah Christ, as Saint John the Evangelist writes: “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he” (John 4:25-26).

It is noteworthy that after this revelation to her, the Samaritan woman “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4,28-29).

Interpreting this action of the Samaritan woman, Theophylactos says: “In this manner, the Samaritan woman preferred immediately Christ’s water to that of the Jacob’s spring”. While Saint Cyril of Alexandria says: “The woman that had many men, two or three days ago, now appears to be stronger and above the cares of the flesh. And the one who quite often became vulnerable to the shameful delights, now prevails over the needs of the flesh, that is the thirst and drinking; and she has transformed her needs anew for the love of Christ. That is why the hymnographer says: “O Lord, Who supportest Thy chambers in the waters, Thou, being the Water of Life, didst grant Thy worshipful springs unto the Samaritan woman who asked of Thee, when she had learned of Thy compassion” (Matins, Ode 1 of the Samaritan, Troparion 4).

Moreover, the Lord Himself says referring to the Scriptures: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7,38). And Jesus said this, referring to the Holy Spirit that those who believe in Him shall receive, according to Saint John (John 7,39).

The Samaritan woman, who was called Foteini, became a vessel of the Holy Spirit and a preacher and Apostle of the Gospel of Christ and sealed her mission with her martyrdom during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero, as her Synaxarist mentions.

We, my dear brethren, who honour the sacred memory of the Holy Equal to the Apostles and Great Martyr Foteini, the Samaritan woman, are called to imitate the simplicity of her faith to our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. And we say this, because the Samaritan woman preferred God’s wisdom to the earthly water, namely the denaturation of the Saviour, as the hymnographer of the Mother of God says: the invisible God the Word in nature, has become visible to men as a man through the pure Mother of God, recalling man to transform his nature to your Divinity. Amen! Christ is risen! Many happy returns, blessed and peaceful!”

After the Divine Liturgy, there was a procession around the Church under the chanting of Paschal hymns and a festal reception at the Hegoumeneion.

At noon the Hegoumen and owner and renovator of the Church, Archimandrite Ioustinos hosted a meal and offered His Beatitude a beautiful Cross, similar to the one placed on top of the Sacred Edicule after its renovation in 2017, so that He may use it at the processions according to the Typikon of the Church of Jerusalem.

From Secretariat-General




GRADUATION CEREMONY AT THE PATRIARCHATE’S SCHOOL IN RAMALLAH

On Saturday evening, May 8/21, 2022, the graduation ceremony of ‘Saint George’ School of the Patriarchate took place in Ramallah.

The ceremony was held at the reception hall in a town hotel with the honorary presence of H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, who was accompanied by Geronda Secretary-General, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Priest Issa Mousleh, Archimandrite Galaktion, Priest Stephen from the Church of Greece, the President of the Palestinian State committee on Religious Affairs Mr Ramzi Chouri, the Manageress of his office Mrs Hane Amire, His Eminence Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, the President of the West Bank Schools of  the Patriarchate Mr Ode Kaouas, the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras, representatives from the Ministry of Labour of the Palestinian Autonomy, the thirty three graduates along with their parents and others.

The ceremony began with the Palestinian National Anthem, followed by the Greek National Anthem, a hymn for the recently murdered Palestinian martyr Shireen Abu Akleh, His Beatitude’s welcome, the Gospel reading according to Saint Mathew “ you are the light of the world’  and a narrative from Saint Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians, a reading from the Quran, the Schools hymn, and finally the baton’s handing over from the graduates of the School year 2021-2022 to the last class of 2000-2023.

Consequently the School Principle Mr Jelal Muhaison spoke, underlining the important educational mission of the School, which is proven by the number of the graduates who enter Universities and also mentioned the moral and material support of the Patriarchate in this mission.

The honorary calling of the students who excelled with grades 98,50/100 followed, the address of the students in the Arabic and English languages, Palestinian songs and traditional Palestinian dances and the hymn of the Palestinian martyr who were this school’s graduate in 2016, Tamara Abu Leyle.

The ceremony concluded with His Beatitude’s address, read by Fr Issa Mousleh, stressing that this year, the 18th of the School’s operation is dedicated to Shireen Abu Akleh. His Beatitude’s address follows below in Arabic:

والأردن في تخريج طلبة مدرستنا الرومية الأرثوذكسية سان جورج                                     21/5/2022

سيادة المتروبوليت يواكيم مساعدنا و معاوننا رئيس لجنة مدارس بطريركية الروم الأرثوذكس الجزيل الاحترام .

سيادة العين الدكتور عودة القواس الرئيس التنفيذي لمدارس بطريركية  الروم الأرثوذكس الجزيل الاحترام .

المربي الفاضل الأستاذ القدير جلال محيسن مدير المدرسة الجزيل الاحترام،

حضرات المعلمات والمعلمين وأولياء أمور الطلاب المحترمين،

الحضور الكرام مع حفظ الألقاب و الأسماء و الصفات الاعتبارية و الشخصية و الرسمية .

سلامُ المحبة لكمْ جميعاً

يسعدُنا  أنْ نُعبّرَ لكمْ عنْ وافرِ فرحتِنا وابتهاجِنا ونحنُ نقفُ بينكُم في هذا اليومِ الّذي نحتفلُ به سويّاً لنخرج مجموعة من بناتِنا وأبنائِنا الذين أنجزوا مرحلةً هامة مِن مراحلِ حياتِهم، وإنّنا بذلكَ نتقدّمُ بالكثيرِ مِنَ الامتنانِ والاحترامِ لأولياءِ الأمورِ والهيئتيْن الإداريّةِ والتدريسيّةِ على ما قدّموهُ منْ جهدٍ وعطاءٍ في سبيلِ الوصولِ بطلّابِنا إلى أعلى المراتبِ والدّرجاتِ ومساعدتهم للانطلاقِ نحوَ أولى خطواتِ مستقبلهم.

إن مِن أهمِّ الأمورِ الّتي علينا أن نعيها أنَّ التّعليمَ يُعتبرُ البنيةَ الأساسيّةَ الّتي يتكئ عليها المجتمع، لذلكَ علينا أن نتمسك بهِ وأن نعمل على تطويرهِ ومسايرةِ التّجدّدِ السّريعِ الحاصلِ في العالم، لكي تتمكّنَ الأجيالُ منْ مواكبةِ مجالاتِ الحياةِ لبناءِ الوطن و استقلال الذات .

إنَّ طالبَ العلمِ هو هدفُنا الذي نسعى من أجله ، لذلكَ فمنْ واجبِنا أنْ نوفّرَ لهُ كلِّ المقوّماتِ الّتي تتيحُ لهُ الاستمرارَ نحوَ الأفضل، كما أنَّ تهيئةَ الظّروفِ المناسبةِ هي منْ أهم حقوقِ المرءِ الوضعية الّتي منْ خلالِها سيقومُ بواجباتِه نحوَ أسرتهِ ومجتمعهِ ووطنهِ .

الحضور الكرام ،،

إنَّ النّظامَ التّعليميَّ في أيّة دولةٍ هو الأساسُ الراسخُ والدعامةُ الأولى ليكتملَ البناءُ ويَقوى و لتستمر الحياة ، فالتّعليمُ يصنعُ الأيادي المعطاءة  الّتي تعمّرُ وتبني وتُطوّر، ومنْ هذا المنطلقِ لا يسعُنا إلّا أنْ نقولَ كلمةَ حقٍّ في معلّماتِنا ومعلّمينا فهم من يبنون و يصنعون الأجيال ، فهاماتُهم تعانقُ المجدَ وأياديَهُم تغرسُ بذورَ الحبِّ والأمل، وبعطائهِم تستمرُّ المسيرة .

وقيل في التعليم : الزراعة تسد الجوع و الصناعة توفر الاحتياجات لكن التعليم يزرع و يصنع وطنا

و في هذا المقام لا ننسى أن نرسلُ تحيّةً منَ القلبِ إلى أسرةِ التّربيةِ والتّعليمِ الحاملةِ رايةَ هذه الرّسالة، فنحنُ نُثني على جهودِكم ونباركُ ثمرةَ إنجازاتِكم.

وحيثُ أنَّ بناءَ الإنسانِ هو قبلَ كلِّ شيء، فهذا ما يحتاجُه طلابُنا اليومَ، فإذا أردتَ أن تبنيَ حضارةَ فعليك ببناء الأسرة ثم عليك برعاية التعليم ثم عليك برفع القدواتِ والمرجعيات. فحتّى تبني الأسرةَ عليكَ برعايةِ دورِ الأمّ في تربيةِ أبنائِها والاهتمامِ بها لبناءِ جيلِ المستقبل، وكي ترعى التعليمَ عليكَ بالمعلّمِ اجعلْ لهُ أهمية في المجتمعِ وارفعْ من مكانتِه حتّى يقتدي بهِ طلّابُه، وكي ترفعَ القدواتِ عليكَ بالعلماءِ اجعلْهُم القدوةَ للجميعِ حتّى يعلو شأنُهم ولا تشكّكْ بقدراتِهم حتّى يُسمَعَ لهم.

وإنّنا نغتنمُ الفرصةَ مِن خلالِ هذهِ المناسبةِ الطّيبةِ على قلوبِنا جميعاً لنشيرَ إلى التّقدّمِ العلميِّ الّذي حصلَ في هذهِ المدرسةِ خلالَ الأعوامِ المنصرمةِ وعلى كافّةِ الأصعدةِ المتعلّقةِ بالعمليتيْن التّربويةِ والتّعليميّة، ممّا أتاحَ الفرصةَ لطلبتِنا الأعزاءِ أن يحصلوا على نتائجَ مشرّفة في الامتحاناتِ العامّة، على الرغم من جائحة كورونا التي اجتاحت العالم و حدّت من التقدم في الكثير من المجالات إلا أن الإدارة العليا لمدارس البطريركية و على رأسها سعادة العين الدكتور عودة القواس و بحكمته الرزينة استطاعت التغلب على هذا الفايروس بمعية مدير المدرسة الأستاذ جلال محيسن، كما لا ننسى الدور الريادي الذي يقوم به رئيس لجنة المدارس المتروبليت يواكيم الجزيل الاحترام برعايته و دعمه المعنوي و المادي لمدارس البطريركية.

الحضور الكرام :

إنّ هذا الصّرحَ الأكاديميَّ الثّقافيَّ العربيَّ الرّوميَّ بمعلميه و إدارته قدْ خرّجَ أشخاصاً لهمْ مراكز مرموقةٌ وعاليةٌ في مجتمعِنا الأصيلِ والّذينَ نفتخرُ ونعتزُّ بهِم  .

وفي الختامِ لا يسعُنا إلّا الدعاءَ لأبناءِ شعبِنا الفلسطينيِّ بأنْ تتحققَ آمالهم بالسّلامِ والحرّيّةِ والاستقرارِ وقدْ حقّقوا أهدافَهم الّتي يثابرونَ منْ أجلِها كشعبٍ يستحقُّ الحياةَ بإقامةِ دولتِهم الفلسطينيّةِ وعاصمتُها القدسُ الشّريفُ قدسُ الأقداسِ تحتّ ظلِّ القيادةِ الحكيمةِ لفخامةِ الرّئيسِ محمود عبّاس رئيس دولةِ فلسطينَ حفظهُ الله ُورعاه، وأنْ يعمَّ السّلامُ والحبُّ في جميعِ الأراضي المقدسة وفي منطقة الشرق الأوسط والعالم بأسره و نرجو لكم عاما خاليا من الوباء و البلاء و الغلاء وكل عام وأنتم بألف خير.

After the reading of the address, His Beatitude was offered a bouquet of flowers and He handed the titles to each of the graduates, wishing them all the best for success, career and higher education studies.

Finally there was honorary mention and giving of honorary board to those distinguished in teaching and especially to the parents of Shireen Abu Akleh, as well as a speech for her, which was delivered by the Al Jazeera representative, Fayez Abu Samir.

From Secretariat-General

 




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