THE 14TH ENTHRONEMENT ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BEATITUDE THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM THEOPHILOS

On Friday, November 9/22, 2019, a Doxology took place at the Catholicon of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the 14th Election and Enthronement Anniversary of His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos.

The Doxology was officiated by H.H.B. with co-celebrants the Hagiotaphite Archbishops and Hieromonks, Arab-speaking Priests, Deacons and Monks of all the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate, at the presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and with the participation of a noble congregation from Jerusalem, other Communities of the Arab-speaking flock of the Patriarchate and pilgrims.

After the Doxology, bells tolling, the Patriarchal Entourage returned to the Patriarchate Headquarters.

Geronda Secretary-General, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina addressed His Beatitude as follows;

 “Your Beatitude Father and Master,

The Mother of Churches is rejoicing today in gleefulness on the quite important and happy occasion of Your Beatitude’s Enthronement at the glorious Throne of St. James the Brother of God and First Hierarch of Jerusalem.

This was accomplished through the devoted endeavours of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood for the preservation of the Status Quo of the Holy Land and of course of the Old City of Jerusalem, which had been undermined by the illegal agreements of mortgaging its land property of incalculable value. With these endeavours, fourteen years ago, in 2005, the Brotherhood through its representative the Holy and Sacred Synod, unanimously and by normal voting “placed up on the lamppost” Your Beatitude as the worthy Shepherd and navigator of the Primeval Church of Jerusalem. The election of Your Beatitude and the subsequent Enthronement with the participation of all Orthodox Churches and with the recognition of all local governments, dispelled the vortex which severely shook but did not submerge the vessel of the Church of Jerusalem and tightened the joints of its mystical body in the bond of peace.

This event was celebrated today as it should, with the festive thanksgiving Doxology in full participation of Monks, clergy and laity at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. And now, in this historic reception hall of the Patriarchate, we rend Your Beatitude the worthy praise for all the “pious, righteous and just things” You have accomplished for the All-holy Shrines, the Brotherhood and the flock.

First of all, as far as the Shrines are concerned, Your Beatitude at all times both in words and in actions and toward all directions has underlined that they are a special blessing, the special and characteristic feature and the irrefutable privilege of the Church of Jerusalem as places of the Divine appearance of Christ, and for this reason, the mission of the Brotherhood is to preserve and serve them as living litourgical places for the teaching and the sanctification of the many noble pilgrims who visit them. Considering the All-holy Shrines a heritage not only of the Brotherhood but of our nation, they have been renovated, as the Sacred Edicule, the roof of the Basilica of Bethlehem, the Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist by the river Jordan, the current renovation of the God-receiving Cave, and our rights toward them have bravely been protected, such as the right of the presence of the second guard in the interior of the Edicule of the All-holy Tomb for the reception of the Coptic and Syrian Communities after the Divine Liturgy  on the Vigil of Easter and the right of the Elevation of the Holy Cross at the place of its finding, by the against the Status Quo treacherous manner of the Armenians.

The vivid interest of Your Beatitude for the Rum Orthodox Arab-speaking flock and the detailed watch over its related issues has been noted over this period, through the frequent significant funding of the Patriarchate for the completion of the Holy Church of the Nativity of Theotokos in the Community of Sahnin, through the offering of a wood-carved ikonostasion made in Cyprus as well as of the Holy Church of Saints Constantine and Helen in Koufr Smea in the district of Acre, of the recently consecrated Holy Church of St. Savvas the Sanctified in Yafat Nasra near Nazareth, and of the Holy Church of St. Moses the Ethiopian in Rafidia of Nablus, in Samaria.

Along with the other brotherly Orthodox Churches, Your Beatitude has made many efforts to keep the cooperation determined by the tradition of our Orthodox Church for the unity in Christ, projecting the dialogue in wisdom and mediocrity as the solution for the occasionally arising Inter-Orthodox issues. Appreciating this attitude of Yours, our Brotherly Church of Russia has offered You the prize Alexei II for the year 2018, “for outstanding activities in strengthening the unity of the Orthodox Christian nations and for upholding and promoting Christian values in the life of society”. This happened only yesterday in Your visit to Moscow, where You also met with His Excellency the President of Russia Mr. Putin and requested His support for the Christians of the Holy Land and of the Middle East.

Since the beginning of Your Patriarchal Office, the epicenter of the efforts and actions of Your Beatitude has undoubtedly been the by all means preservation of the Biblically established and internationally recognized Status Quo of the Old City of Jerusalem. This Status Quo is being violated and distorted in the case of the prevailing as legitimate of the long-term leases of the Jaffa Gate Hotels of the Patriarchate, which lack transparency and justice and are full of financial corruption. For the abolishment of these agreements, Your Beatitude has energetically worked toward the awareness and mobility of people and organizations, members of influence abroad, as well as within this country. Worth saying is the initiative of Your Beatitude last July this year, to organize a peaceful march of all the local Churches from our Patriarchate to Jaffa Gate in front of the Imperial and Petra hotels, and the subsequent prayer with the reading of a Message conveying internationally our request to preserve Jaffa Gate as the Gate for the entrance of the Heads of Churches of the Old City of Jerusalem to their Seats and as the natural access point of the Christian pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre, as it has been for centuries.

Encouraged with these accomplished things, Your Beatitude, and warmly congratulating You, the Hagiotaphite Fathers join You in the good fight for the success and the help of God for all initiatives You undertake, and the materialization of all Your aims for the good of our Brotherhood and of the Church of Holy Jerusalem.

Raising my glass in a toast, Your Beatitude, on behalf of the Holy and Sacred Synod and all Hagiotaphite Fathers, I wish You many happy returns, in health, gleefulness, peace and stability, full of Divine strength and enforcement, so that You may increase and enrich Your Patriarchal Office that has been entrusted to You by the Divine Providence, for the benefit and the praise of the blessed nation of the Rum Orthodox and for the Glory of our Trinitarian God.”

Likewise, the Consul General of Greece Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and the representatives of the Orthodox Churches of the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Patriarchate of Romania addressed His Beatitude.

His Beatitude replied to all with the following words;      

 “Your Excellency Mr. Consul General of Greece,

Reverend Holy Fathers and Brothers,

Beloved Christians,

Noble pilgrims

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

The appearing Church of the incarnate God Word in the place of His “provision” (Psalm 132:15) and “of habitation” (Psalm 132:13), our Holy Church of Jerusalem, rejoices today on the completion of the fourteen-year-old ministerial navigation of Our Mediocrity since the taking over of the lot of the ministry (Acts 1:25)] of the Apostolic and Patriarchal Throne of St. James the Brother of God and First Hierarch of Jerusalem.

This sacred and ecclesiastical event possesses a special meaningful significance for the centuries-old expanding mystical body of Christ, the Church, on the one hand, and for its life in the world on the other. And it should be noted that according to St. Paul, the faithful members of the Church are called “fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19) and that “they dwell on earth but actually live in heaven” according to the epistle to Diognitos(Vol. 2, p. 253).

Because of these, we went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, escorted by the Reverend members of our Venerable Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, where we rendered a thanksgiving Doxology to our Holy Trinitarian God, Who has been glorified “through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever” (1 Peter 4:11).

Today’s celebrated fourteen-year-old enthronement anniversary does not refer to Our unworthiness, but to the established institution of the Church which has been founded by the redeeming blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on which foundation  “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11) as St. Paul preaches. And according to St. Ignatios of Antioch; “the apostolic” and “episcopal” throne of the Church encompasses a place of God; “Heads of the Bishops in the place of God, and of the Priests in the place of the synod of the apostles and of the deacons…who have been entrusted the ministry of Jesus Christ” (Epistle to Magnesians 6).

Our Patriarchal, monastic and Pastoral ministry so far, on the Hierarchic and Apostolic throne of St. James the Brother of God, of the Church of Jerusalem, has only one sole purpose, the preservation of the consignment of the healthy faith that has been handed over to Us by the Apostolic succession, and the upholding of the word of truth, and especially of the care of the Christian flock that has been entrusted to us, according to the teaching of St. Paul; “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-12). Moreover, the preservation of the All-holy Shrines as places of the logic worship and a source of healing, where pilgrims flock from all ends of the earth for their spiritual refreshment, hearkening to the psalmist saying; “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2).

Needless to say that the privileges and sovereign rights of the noble and royal nation of the “Rum Orthodox” Christians on the All-holy Shrines, is a sacred duty in its “ab antiquo” mission in the Holy Land. Therefore, every effort is made to all directions, political and diplomatic, local and international governments to respect the existing multi-cultural and inter-religious Status Quo which has been established by international treaties, for both the biblical shrines and the Holy City of Jerusalem (which on itself is a universal pilgrimage).

Nevertheless, we submit to the advice of the God-inspired Paul; “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3), we have not wasted any time working in all humility for the keeping of the unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church of ours, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience” (1 Tim. 3:9).

And we say this because Jerusalem, and therefore the Church of Jerusalem, being the primeval and inexhaustible source of the blood of righteousness, of peace and of eternal life, namely of Christ, is the point of reference of reconciliation of all of us, as St. Paul preaches by saying: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).   

This fourteenth enthronement anniversary of our Mediocrity calls us not to the boast of the things of our own, but that we “may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God” (Romans 15:17). “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience” (2 Cor. 1:120. Calling upon this testimony of our conscience, we shall not cease to strive for the good fight in the vineyard of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, namely in His Church, hearkening to the Lord’s words: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

Co-witnesses to this annunciation of the testimony of Christ’s light and of the glory of God the Father are our co-workers the reverend and dearest Hagiotaphite Fathers and Brothers, Archbishops, Hieromonks, Deacons and Monks, who are devoted body and soul to our sacred mission.

Let us therefore entreat God the Father of lights and of truth “to guide our steps to the working of His commandments” through the intercessions of our Most Blessed Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary and through the intercessions of our Holy Father Nectarios of Pentapolis. May the Grace of the All-holy and Life-giving Tomb of our Resurrected Saviour Christ fortify all of us who serve in the ministry of the All-holy shrines and in the pastoring of our Christian flock.

With all these, we call upon all who prayed along with us and honoured us with their presence in this festive enthronement anniversary, wishing them strength from on high, the grace of the All-holy Tomb, patience and every blessing from God, expressing our warm thanks to all who addressed us; Geronda Secretary-General, Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, who spoke on behalf of the members of the Holy and Sacred Synod and our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, His Excellency the Consul General of Greece Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos, Reverend Archimandrite Dometianos, representative of our Holy Brotherly Church of Russia, who conveyed the wishes of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Moscow Cyril, Reverend Archimandrite Theophilos, representative of the Holy Church of Romania, who conveyed the wished of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Romania Daniel, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, who spoke on behalf of our flock in Nazareth, the Most Reverend Archbishop Damascene of Joppa, who spoke on behalf of our flock in Joppa, Reverend Fr. Charalambos Bandour, who spoke on behalf of St. James Cathedral, Reverend Archimandrite Artemios and Fr. Alexander and Fr. Igor who spoke on behalf of the Russian-speaking Community in Ber-Sheba, the Most Reverend Archbishop Christophoros of Kyriakoypolis, who spoke on behalf of our flock in Jordan and on behalf of the Respected Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Mr. Ode Kawas, General Magager of the Education Committee in Palestine, Reverend Fr. Boulos, who spoke on behalf of the Community of Beit Jalla and our dearest Steward Fr. Savvas, who spoke on behalf of Beit Sahour, Mr. Abu Aeta and Mr. Yousef Nasser, and all participating in this festivity of the Enthronement anniversary.

To the health of all of you!”

From Secretariat-General




DOXOLOGY FOR THE NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY OF 28TH OCTOBER

The Doxology at the Catholicon of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the National Anniversary of 28th October 1940 took place on Monday, October 15/28, 2019.

This Doxology was a thanksgiving to God for His aid in the liberation of our nation from the Italian threat and the German yoke of occupation in the years 1940-1944, and as a prayer for the repose of the souls of our fathers who fought, sacrificed themselves and gloriously fell in the battlefields.

The Doxology was officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos with the participation in prayer of the Archbishops and Priests Hagiotaphite Fathers, at the chanting of the Novice Monk Constantinos Spyropoulos, at the presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and members of the Greek Consulate, as well as members of the Greek Community and the Arab-speaking flock of the Patriarchate.

After the Doxology, bells tolling, the Patriarchal Entourage returned to the Patriarchate Headquarters, where there was a short reception with reciting of poems by the students of St. Demetrios School of the Patriarchate and the National Anthem, followed by His Beatitude address as below;

“Your Excellency Consul General of Greece Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos,

Reverend Fathers and Brothers,

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Today’s anniversary of 28th October 1940 is a remembrance of a great and wondrous action for humankind, and especially for the Greek nation, because the epic of “No” was crucial for the outcome, namely the defeat, of the moral and physical instigators of the devastating World War II.

The recognized by all heroic resistance of the Greek warriors against the marching of the enemy forces of Axis, proved that the nation of the Greeks is governed by native moral and spiritual principles, of both their cultural heritage and Orthodox Christian faith with the tradition of the Holy Fathers.

Faith in righteousness, love for the country, self-sacrifice and especially the dignity of man for the non-negotiable principles of freedom, justice and national independence prevailed over the insanity and wrathful aggressiveness of the Nazi atrocity in the sacred fight of the safeguarding of the national borders and the defense of the territorial integrity of the country.

The “No” of 28th October 1940 was not only the negative answer to the insulters and arrogant treacherous cosmocrats, but mainly to their morbid ideology, namely to the totalitarianism, to fascism and to Nazism.

The Venerable Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, honouring as it should the epic of 1940, and wholeheartedly participating in this victorious commemoration of freedom, after the crushing of the relentless occupation of Nazism, came down to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, for the thanksgiving Doxology to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Resurrected.

Moreover, we have prayed for the eternal repose of the souls and everlasting remembrance of our fathers and brothers who fought and gloriously fell in the fight for our faith, country and freedom. 

This very faith in the light of God the Word, Christ, has established the epic of 1940, and we are called to preserve it as a sacred consignment for the generations to come.

For all these, allow Us to raise our glass in a toast and cry out:

Long live 28th October 1940!

Long live the “NO”

Long live Greece!

Long live the noble nation of the Rum Orthodox!

Long live the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood!”

And the Consul General’s address as follows:

“Your Beatitude,

Most Reverend Archbishops,

Reverend Fathers,

Ladies and Gentlemen

We celebrate today a leading event of the modern Greek history. The unanimous rejection by Hellenism on 28th October 1940 of the ultimatum for the unconditional surrender of the Homeland and the concession of its national sovereignty. We celebrate the heroic and unequal struggle for the defense of Greece’s freedom and territorial integrity during World War II, which began with the epic of Pindos. Today is a day of honour and remembrance for all Greeks.

This historical NO demonstrated the moral stature, the love for freedom and the strong sense of justice of the Greeks. Thanks to this code of principles, they opposed overwhelmingly superior forces: the dark fiber forces of fascism and Nazism that sought to impose the bond of totalitarianism and racism on the peoples of Europe and beyond. The sense of justice shielded the Greeks, who, knowing that they fought in fair struggles for their freedom, achieved their first victory against the Axis, sending a message of hope to the other peoples of Europe and delaying the implementation of their more general strategic plan, contributing this way in the final victory of the Allies.

The “NO” showed in the clearest way the common, deep historical consciousness of the Greeks, that fueled and reinforced the patriotism, the vigor, the self-esteem and the great sense of responsibility with which the sacred and the holy were defended. The “No” was precisely the refusal of the Greek people to forget their history and live a petty and submissive life. Today, all Greeks, wherever we are, pay tribute to the fallen and the fighters in the battlefields of 1940-41 in Pindos, in the Macedonian forts, in our seas, in Crete and elsewhere. We honour those who participated in the National Resistance and those who continued to fight, on the side of the Allies, in the battlefields of World War II, the Middle East and Europe. Today we do not forget the hundreds of thousands innocent victims of the Occupation.

In the national heroic effort that began on October 28, 1940, as in any other national endeavor, the dynamic participation and valuable contribution of the Hellenism of the diaspora was crucial. Greece is very proud and grateful for the great contribution of the Greek community in the Middle East and especially of the Hellenism of Jerusalem, which is historically recorded.

Responding to the need to unite all the forces of the Nation, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Mother of Churches, was then and always remains, a key point of reference, the guardian of the moral authority and spiritual merit of our Orthodox faith and proof of unchanging survival potential of the Greek Orthodox tradition, which is a source of strength, inspiration and hope for the future for all of us.

The anniversary of October 28, 1940 has always been and is even more present today, especially for the new generation which needs to understand and embrace its lessons. In an international environment characterized by extensions, disputes and conflicts, often fueled from dark ideologies and distorted attitudes, as in the pre-war period, we, as Greeks, have the responsibility of preservation of our national unity and unanimity of soul, our commitment to the ideals of freedom and democracy, our inspiration from the moral and spiritual values of our Orthodox faith, and our alertness and determination to cope with all kinds of challenges.

Long live the 28th October 1940

Long live Greece!”

A festal reception followed.

From Secretariat-General

 




PRIEST’S ORDINATION AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Friday, October 12/25, 2019, the ordination to Priest of Deacon George Baramki was held during the Divine Liturgy on Horrendous Golgotha by the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina.

Fr. George Baramki has been ministering at St. James the Brother of God Cathedral as a Deacon of the Arab-speaking Orthodox Community of Jerusalem, while he is also working as a teacher at the Russian Orthodox Church School of Mount of Olives and Gethsemane in Bethany.

Before the ordination, the Archbishop admonished the ordained as follows, while the latter also read a speech, expressing his fear before the sacrament, but also his hope, that the Comforter will fortify him in his current high ministry.

Address of Geronda Secretary-General Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina at the ordination to Priest of Deacon Hader/George Baramki

 “Reverend Deacon George,

It’s been only a little while since your ordination to Deacon at the Life-giving Tomb of the Lord. Since your ordination to Deacon, you have ministered in devotion, reverence and fear of God at the parish of St. James the Brother of God Cathedral, and in all other ministries appointed to you by the Patriarchate.

The Patriarchate, the Mother of all Churches, and your mother Church, has appreciated your ecclesiastical ministry and simultaneously your educational service at the School of the Russian Church in Bethany, and today, with the blessings of H.H. Beatitude, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and of the Holy and Sacred Synod, you are called to receive the office of the Priesthood, to officiate as Priest the Sacraments of the Church and especially that of the Baptism and of the Holy Eucharist, to offer the bloodless sacrifice to the Lord and give His immaculate body and blood to the people of God for the remission of their sins and life everlasting.

In this ministry you will be established today and will always be guided by the Holy Spirit, Who will come down through the invocation and the touching of the hands of the Archbishop, in this place of Golgotha, the horrendous place of the sacrifice of the sinless One, the place where Christ, the Son of God and our Saviour became the propitiatory sacrifice for the remission of our sins.

It is a great blessing, a great honour, but also a great responsibility. Come forward though, and do not hesitate, Christ and the Church are calling you, and remain faithful until death, having as an example those who preceded in this ministry, Apostles, Confessors, Righteous Fathers and Teachers of the Church.

Be sure that from now on you will be accompanied by the prayers of the Hagiotaphite Fathers, the co-celebrant Priests, the commissioners and the congregation of St. James’ Cathedral, of your parents, your pious wife and all those who honour you with their presence, so that you may become worthy of your ministry.” His speech is below as it was read in Arabic;

السيامة الكهنوتية المقدسة لشماس رعية القدس
كاتدرائية القديس يعقوب أخو الرب
الأب الشماس جاورجيوس (خضر) برامكي
“وما من أحد يتولى بنفسه هذا المقام، بل من دعاه الله كما دعا هارون”
(بولس الرسول الإناء المختار في رسالة إلى العبرانيين 5: 4)
الجمعة 12/10/2019 شرقي 25/10/2019 غربي، تذكار القديسين الشّهداء بروبس وطراخوس وأندرونيكوس (مظفّر)
المجد لك يا رب المجد لك
بإسم الآب والإبن والروح القدس الإله الواحد آمين
وَاحِدَةً سَأَلْتُ مِنَ الرَّبِّ وَإِيَّاهَا أَلْتَمِسُ: أَنْ أَسْكُنَ فِي بَيْتِ الرَّبِّ كُلَّ أَيَّامِ حَيَاتِي، لِكَيْ أَعاين بهاء الرَّبِّ، وَأَتَبصر هَيْكَلِهِ.” (مز 26: 4)
قال الرب: اطلُبوا أَوَّلاً مَلَكوتَ الله وبِرَّه وكلُّ تلكَ الأشياءِ تُزادُ لَكُم” (لوقا ١٢: ٣١)
في مستهل كلمتي أود أن أتقدم بالشكر والتقدير لصاحب الغبطة بطريرك المدينة المقدسة أورشليم كيريوس كيريوس ثيوفيلوس الثالث وأعضاء المجمع المقدَّس الموقَّرين على الثقة التي اوكلوها لي للعمل في حقل الرب، ولك يا سيادة الوكيل البطريركي والسكرتير العام رئيس أساقفة قسطنطيني أرسيترخوس الجزيل الإحترام, السَّادة المطارنة الحاضرين، الآباء الكهنة الأجلاء والشمامسة المحبيّ المسيح، رعية القديس يعقوب أخو الرب، الشعب الواقف، إخوتي في الرب يسوع المسيح، جميعكم وجميعكنَّ.
اليوم يا ابي ومرشدي الحكيم والأمين أرسيترخوس على يدكَ سوف تحل نعمة الالهية التي في كل حين تشفي المرضى وتكمل الناقصين.
“أَنَا أَشْكُرُ الْمَسِيحَ يَسُوعَ رَبَّنَا الَّذِي قَوَّانِي، أَنَّهُ حَسِبَنِي أَمِينًا، إِذْ جَعَلَنِي لِلْخِدْمَةِ” (رسالة بولس الرسول الأولى إلى تيموثاوس 1: 12). وأخترني لكي أنال نصيب هذه الخدمة والرسالة المقدسة لأن الله وحده يعرف القلوب. فطلبت الرب فأعطني سؤال قلبي. (مزمور 36: 4) طلبت الرب بإجتهاد فاستجاب لي ومن جميع مخاوفي نجاني. عظموا الرب معي ولنرفع اسمه جميعنا.
أشتهيت أن أصبح خادماً للرب وكاهناً منذ الصغر كنت ارتل كلمات الكاهن في خدمة القداس الإلهي بالبيت وأفكر كيف علي أن انذر نفسي للرب حيث يقول الكاهن في طلبة السلامية لنودع أنفسنا وكل حياتنا للمسيح الاله. لكن فهمت ان الأمر ليس سهلاً أن استودع حياتي للرب للذلك نطلب معونة سيدتنا والدة الإله الدائمة البتولية مريم وجميع القديسين. وأيضاً كانت كلمات الكاهن تدخل الى اعماق قلبي عندما يقول القدسات للقديسين اي جسد المسيح المقدس ودمه الكريم هما القدسات التي ينبغي منحها لمناولة القديسين. أي جميعنا مدعون إلى القداسة لأنه مكتوبٌ «كُونُوا قِدِّيسِينَ لأَنِّي أَنَا قُدُّوسٌ».” (1 بط 1: 16) وعلي أن اجاهد في سبيل بلوغ الكمال. وتعلمتُ أن مَلَكُوتُ السَّمَاوَاتِ يُغْصَبُ، وَالْغَاصِبُونَ يَخْتَطِفُونَهُ.” (مت 11: 12) أي علينا ان نجاهد غير متهاونين مع انفسنا ونغصب ذواتنا على ترك الخطيئة والالتصاق بالله حتى يكون لنا ملكوت السموات.
بهذا اليوم المبارك واقفٌ امامكم إنطلاقاَ من دعوة الرب يسوع المسيح لتلاميذه بقوله “فَاذْهَبُوا وَتَلْمِذُوا جَمِيعَ الأُمَمِ معمدين إياهم بِاسْمِ الآب وَالابْنِ وَالرُّوحِ الْقُدُسِ, وَعَلِّمُوهُمْ أَنْ يَحْفَظُوا جَمِيعَ مَا أَوْصَيْتُكُمْ بِهِ. (متى 28: 19-20 )
من أجل حفظ الوصية وتكملة العمل الرسولي ومحبة الله اقدم نفسي للخدمة. هذه هي وصية الرب أن أُحِب الرَّبَّ إِلهَي مِنْ كُلِّ قَلْبِي، وَمِنْ كُلِّ نَفْسِي، وَمِنْ كُلِّ فِكْري (متى 22: 37) وقال الرب يسوع المسيح لسمعان بطرس: يا سمعان بن يونا، أتحبني أكثر من هؤلاء؟ قال له: نعم يا رب، أنت تعلم أني أحبك. قال له: إرع خرافي (يوحنا 21: 15) وايضاً قال إذهبوا إلى العالم أجمع وبَشِّروا بالإنجيل للخليقة كلِّها” (مرقس 16: 15). فَوَيْلٌ لِي إِنْ كُنْتُ لاَ أُبَشِّرُ.” (1 كو 9: 16)
أَنت يا رب الطَّرِيقُ وَالْحَقُّ وَالْحَيَاةُ. لَيْسَ أَحَدٌ يَأْتِي إِلَى الآبِ إِلاَّ بِكَ (يوحنا 14: 6) يا رب إلى من نذهب؟ وكلام الحياة الأبدية هو عندك” (يوحنا 68:6) أنت يا رب تنير سراجي أنت يا إلهي تضيء ظلمتي (مزمور 17: 28)
امام هذا الفرح الكبير بقبول سر الكهنوت أقف ملتمساً صلواتكم الحارة يا شعب المسيح، لكي أكون عبداً مستحقاً لسماع صوت الرب القائل “نِعِمَّا أَيُّهَا الْعَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ وَالأَمِينُ! كُنْتَ أَمِينًا فِي الْقَلِيلِ فَأُقِيمُكَ عَلَى الْكَثِيرِ. اُدْخُلْ إِلَى فَرَحِ سَيِّدِكَ”(متى21:25) قد حفظت الوديعة أيها الوكيل الأمين التي أوكلتها إليك, فصلوا معي ولأجلي.
ذوقوا وأنظروا ما أطيب الرب. فطوبى للرجل المتوكل عليه ( مزمور 33: 8) الأغنياء افتقروا وجاعوا أما الذين يتقون الرب فلا يعوزهم أي شيء من الخير.
(إنجيل متى 5: 19) ,وتعلمت منذ الضغر انه مَنْ عَمِلَ وَعَلَّمَ، فَهذَا يُدْعَى عَظِيمًا فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ. ومن أراد أن يكون عظيماً فيكم فليكن لكم خادماً (متى 26:20)
كهنتك يا رب يلبسون البر وأبرارك  يتهللون. رحم الله جميع الكهنة الأرثوذكسين ونخص بالذكر من عائلتي الأب ميخالاكي برامكي الذي تمت سيامته عام 1826 والاب يعقوب برامكي الذي قام بالخدمة 50 عاماً والاب قسطندي برامكي الذي انتقل الى السماوات عام 1918 وايضا الاب الياس يغنم الذي ادخلني الى الهيكل في عمر 40 يوماً والاب جبرا بدور والاب عيسى توما.
قال الرب مَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَتْبَعَنِي، فَلْيَكْفُرْ بِنَفْسِهِ ويَحْمِلْ صَلِيْبَهُ ويَتْبَعْنِي وفي سيامتي للشموسية كان عيد زياح الصليب 14/8/2018 واليوم إرادة الرب ان تكون السيامة الكهنوتية في مكان صلب يسوع المسيح (الجلجثة المقدسة). فَإِنَّ كَلِمَةَ الصَّلِيبِ عِنْدَ الْهَالِكِينَ جَهَالَةٌ، وَأَمَّا عِنْدَنَا نَحْنُ الْمُخَلَّصِينَ فَهِيَ قُوَّةُ اللهِ”( الرسالة الاولى الى أهل كورنتس 1/18)
واشكر الله على محبته وأشكرك يا سيادة المطران على النعمة التي ستنسكب بواسطتك على هامتي أنا الخاطئ، ولكم أيها الآباء مشاركيي في الخدمة،ولكل من حضر ليشاركني هذه الفرحة من قريب ومن بعيد كل منكم باسمه. كما واتوجه بشكري الجزيل الى جمعية حاملات الطيب الأرثوذكسية والملجأ الارثوذكسي ونادي الإتحاد الأرثوذكسي العربي ووكلاء كاتدرائية القديس يعقوب اخو الرب وجميع اللجان وافراد الطائفة الكرام بالقدس والى زوجتي الحبيبة الخورية الجديدة (ماتوشكا ماريا)، أي “الأم الصغيرة“ على وقوفها بجانبي ولن أنسى أبني نيقولاوس سامي المشارك معنا بصلاة وأبني الثاني سابا الذي هو حاضرٌ داخل أحشاء امه هذه السيامة المقدسة. وأمي وأبي لهم مني أسمى آيات العرفان بالجميل.
اشكر كافةَ الآباء الكهنة الذين كابدوا مشقة الطريق لكي يفرحوا معي بهذا اليوم المباركِ، كما اخص بالذكر ابي قدس الأرشمندريت ميلاتيوس الذي كان لي السند القويم، والأب قدس الايكونومس فرح بدور, وابي قدس الأب ميخائيل من دير القديس سابا المتقدس الذي يصلي لعائلتي دائماً، والمرشد الحكيم لعائلتي الأرشمندريت رومان كروسوفكي رئيس البعثة الأرثوذكسية الروسية في أورشليم واشكرالأم اليزابيث رئيسة دير القديسة مريم المجدلية الروسي في القدس والام ماريا وال المديره الأعلى للمدرسة الأرثوذكسية الروسية في العيزرية على ثقتهم ومحبتهم.
فأعدك أيها الرب يسوع المسيح على الجلجثة في مكان صلبك المقدس ستفرح بإبنك لأنني سوف احمل الصليب واشهد لك في حياتي ومستعدٌ للإستشهاد حتى شهادة الدم من اجل كلمة الحق والإيمان المستقيم الأرثوذكسي وفي سبيل محبة يسوع المسيح. “لأَنَّ لِيَ الْحَيَاةَ هِيَ الْمَسِيحُ وَالْمَوْتُ هُوَ رِبْحٌ.” (فيلبي 1: 21). هذا هو اكليل الشهداء .
أيها الشهداء القديسون الذين جاهدتم حسناً وتكللتم تشفعوا الى الرب ان ترحم نفوسنا.
المجد لك أيها المسيح الاله فخر الرسل وبهجة الشهداء.
“اذكرني يا رب متى أتيت في ملكوتك”
قال الرب ولن يندم «أَنْتَ كَاهِنٌ إِلَى الأَبَدِ عَلَى رُتْبَةِ مَلْكِي صَادَقَ».

The ordained was honoured with the presence of co-celebrant Hagiotaphite Fathers and Arab-speaking Priests, friends of his and his wife, and members of the parish of St. James the Brother of God, where he is called to minister as a Priest; all present prayed for him and cried out the “Axios” along with the Archbishop when the newly ordained was being dressed with the priestly vestments.

After the end of the celebration of this Divine Liturgy, the ordained, along with the Episcopal entourage, went to the Patriarchate Reception Hall, and paid his respect and thanksgiving to His Beatitude, while the latter blessed him with the following words and offered him an icon of the Theotokos and of St. Philoumenos;

“Dear Father Hader/George,

The grace of the Holy Spirit has made you today a Steward and minister of the Divine and unspeakable Sacraments of the Church, namely of the mystical body of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Your ministry as a ministering Priest at the Holy Cathedral of St. James the Brother of God is quite honourable, but also quite responsible. And this is so because St. James’ Priests undertake the pastoral care of the precious Community of Jerusalem, especially at a time when the Christian presence is being tested in both the Holy Land and in Jerusalem.

The Holy Church of Jerusalem has called you to work in its Spiritual and geographical vineyard. The harvest is great, and the workers only a few, but what is impossible for the people is made possible by God. The grace and the enlightening power of the Holy Spirit established the uneducated fishermen as great enlighteners of the world, making them apostles and teachers.

Your obedience to your Spiritual Authority, namely the Patriarchate, and your humility, should become the armor of your new Priestly ministry. And your love with all your soul, heart and mind toward God and His Church should be the manner and way of your communication with the flock.

The study of the Holy Bible and the teachings of the Holy Apostles and Evangelists should be the source of your inspiration for the preaching of the Divine Word of the Gospel of Christ. And the study of the writings of the Holy and God-bearing Fathers of the Church should be the safe key for the interpretation and explanation of the Holy Scriptures.

With these Fatherly and Patriarchal words, we wish that the strengthening Grace of the Holy Spirit may establish you a worthy worker of the vineyard of the Lord and of His Church, through the intercessions of the Most Blessed and Ever-Virgin Mary. May you be Axios and secured at all times!”

From Secretariat-General




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.

From Secretariat-General




THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE NEW HOZEVITE AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Saturday, July 28/ August 10, 2019, the Patriarchate celebrated the commemoration of our Holy Father John the New Hozevite from Romania at the Holy Monastery of his ascetic life, the ancient Monastery of Hozeva, which is located by the bank of brook Chorath, near Jericho.

On this day, primarily the Church of Jerusalem, but also the Church of Romania commemorate Saint John the New Hozevite, who came in the Holy Land from Romania in mid- 20th century and lived an ascetic life in Holy Monasteries of the river Jordan district and in that of Saints George and John the Hozevites. Due to his marvelous signs he was canonized a Saint by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 2016.

The feast of the Dormition of Saint John was celebrated with an all-night Vigil, officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, who was welcomed by the Hegoumen Fr. Constantine with the following words;

“My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord…” (Psalm 130:6-7).

Your Beatitude Father and Master,

With Your Reverend Entourage,

In our time people have lost hope to a great extent; the Saint we celebrate today wrote about hope in November 1952:

“Hope is being born simultaneously with the man’s soul and it is the pillar of life. If the virtue of hope had not existed, nor faith, neither love would remain within the soul, and therefore life itself would be lost. This is the wondrous power of the soul which elevates those who have been hurt – the bright ray of light that leads to the truth. In short, we can say that the person who has unshakable hope within him can never be defeated by the storms and the hardships of life”.

Your Beatitude,

Our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, and first among all Your Beatitude, marches – through difficulties, temptations and sorrows – in this present life, based precisely on this hope the daughter of patience according to Saint Paul (Romans 5:4). Having as an anchor of Hole the Faith in the Trinitarian God and His Saints, one of whom is Saint John the New Hozevite who we honour today.

Welcome!”

After the welcoming speech, according to the typikon order, the Vigil started with the Compline, Salutations of the Saint and Vespers, followed by the Divine Liturgy. Co-celebrants to His Beatitude were the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina and the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, Priests from the Romanian Patriarchate, and Archdeacon Mark. The chanting was delivered by the Byzantine singers Leonidas Doukas, Christos Stavrou, Gregorios Zarkou and Dionysios Thanasoulis, as the Vigil was attended by a Congregation of Monks, Nuns, and laity who came from the world for the elevation of their souls and prayed in deep contrition.

Before the Holy Communion His Beatitude read the following Sermon;

“Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth” (Psalm 26:8) the Prophet-King David sings.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 Noble pilgrims and Christians,

Let us rejoice in the Lord, for by the grace of the Holy Spirit we are gathered today in this sanctified and sacred place, the Monastery of Hozeva, in order to celebrate the sacred commemoration of our Father among the Saints John the New Hozevite from Romania.

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12) St. James the Brother of God says. Blessed is the one who willingly endures temptation, because he will become experienced and cleansed just like the pure gold, he will receive the crown of life and become the dwelling place of Christ, the heavenly King. The God-man Christ will come therein with his grace and make His abode with him (John 14:23), just as He truly says, according to our Father John.

Indeed, my dear brothers and sisters, our Father John, who loved this ascetic place of Hozeva, was tested and found worthy of the crown of eternal life as the Holy Bible proclaims; “But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God…like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them” (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-6). And in more detail, God accepts the many hardships of the tested faithful like a sweet fragrance, just like the “sacrificial burnt offering” (Wisdom of Solomon 3:6), namely the burnt offerings of the sacrifices that are being completely burnt in the altar.

And hearkening to the God-inspired words of the psalmist: “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” (Psalm 27:8), the Holy Righteous John managed to form Christ within him through his ascetic striving and unceasing prayer, according to St. Paul’s advice; “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:9). Interpreting these words, St. Cyril of Alexandria says; “until the great and extremely intelligent character of Christ is gradually doubled in our minds”.

The incorrupt and fragrant complete relic of our righteous and God-bearer Father John that lies before us, is an irrefutable and tangible and visible witness and proof that Christ is the light and the truth of the world. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12) says the Lord.

This true light of life is being announced and preached by our Holy Orthodox Church through its saints amidst the generation of the distorted and perverted people of our time.

And we say this because the righteous, namely the saints of God, are shown as luminaries in the world on the one hand (Philip. 2:15) and on the other, they “shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43). Moreover, the Saints will sit upon twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel according to Evangelist Matthew; “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28).

The incorrupt and fragrant holy relic of our righteous Father John foretells and announces the “rebirth”, namely the resurrection from the dead on Judgement Day. For this St. John advices all those who follow our Lord Jesus Christ through St. Paul’s mouth, to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). “that we may have boldness in the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17), as St. John the Evangelist preaches.

Rendering glory and thanksgiving to the Holy Trinitarian God, for “He is wondrous in His saint” (Psalm 67:36) our Father John, let us entreat him so that along with the Most Blessed Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, may intercede for the salvation of our souls. And let us say along with the hymn writer; “As we the faithful delight today, on thy memory, our righteous Father John, we glorify Him that made thee glorious, Christ our Lord, the supremely good. Beseech Him ceaselessly, O all-venerable, that we attain to the splendour of the Saints, and to everlasting glory since thou hast boldness to speak freely unto Him at any time.” Amen. Many happy returns!”

After the Divine Liturgy the reorganizer and Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery Fr. Constantinos offered a meal.

From Secretariat-General




DEPARTURE FROM LIFE OF GERASIMOS THE HAGIOTAPHITE

The Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of Sarantarion Mount Archimandrite Gerasimos Selalmatzidis died on Tuesday morning, July 17/30, 2019, at the Holy Monastery of St. Gerasimos of the Jordan, where he was especially treated for his old age in the last few months, by the care of the Patriarchate and the diligence of the Hegoumen Archimandrite Chrysostom.

The deceased, genuine Hagiotaphite, joined the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood as an adult, and having received the monastic schema and the office of Priesthood, he ministered in various posts of the Patriarchate and served as the Hegoumen of the Sarantarion Mount for many years. Living in the mountains and frugal in his diet, he offered the pilgrims’ financial contributions and his own property for the full renovation of the Monastery of the Sarantarion Mount and of that of St. John the Baptist in the river Jordan.

His funeral service, in the afternoon of his departure day, was officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with the participation of Hagiotaphite Archbishops, Monks and laity. The requiem was read by Geronda Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina as follows;

“Your Beatitude Father and Master,

Reverend Fathers,

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The departure from life of our beloved Brother in Christ Archimandrite Gerasimos, Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of Sarantarion Mount, reminded us St. Paul words; “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 13:14). And “ourselves and one another and all our lives” should be aligned and directed to the final coming of the Kingdom of Heaven which has been granted to us through Jesus Christ, Who became Incarnate, was Crucified and Resurrected. Through His Cross and Resurrection death has no longer dominion over us. This salvific and hopeful message in Christ drew the soul of the deceased, our Brother Archimandrite Gerasimos.

He came to the Holy Land in an adult age from his hometown Thessalonica, and joined the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, he received the Priesthood, served the Department of Finance with financial transparency, and having been a mountain climber, he was called by our Lord Jesus Christ to minister at Sarantarion Mount in harsh conditions, where the Lord was tempted and conquered all temptations, comforting us and giving us courage to conquer our temptations. He served there for many years, and being frugal, he offered all the financial contributions he received from the pilgrims for the full renovation of the Holy Monastery of Sarantarion Mount and the restoration of the Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist by the river Jordan. We entreat the Lord that He may consider these good works and forgive him for any sins he may have committed as human, and place him in the land of the living, along with the righteous ones, filling him with the His Trinitarian Light.

The Hagiotaphite Brotherhood thanks those who honored his memory for their participation at his funeral and the Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of St. Gerasimos, Archimandrite Chrysostom, because of the care he offered the deceased with devotion, over the last few months of his life.

May his memory be ever-lasting!”

The Hagiotaphite Brotherhood expresses its condolences to his relatives in the world.

May his memory be ever-lasting!

From Secretariat-General




THE EPITAPH SERVICE AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Holy Friday evening, April 13/26, 2019, the Epitaph Service was held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Service began with the procession of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood from the Patriarchate, under the lead of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos.

When the procession reached the Church, the Service began with the Canon of Holy Saturday Matins, while the Priests were praying to receive the blessing and wear their liturgical festal mourning vestments, along with His Beatitude and the Archbishops.

At the end of the 9th Ode of the Canon the contrite Epitaph litany began from the Holy Altar of the Catholicon, with His Beatitude, the Archbishops and the Priests dressed in their liturgical vestments. When they reached the Sacred Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre they turned right towards the shrine “Touch me not” of the Franciscans, where a prayer was read, then they moved on to the chapel of the Seven bridges, of the Stocks, which has recently been renovated by the Patriarchate, of Logginus the Centurion, of the “They torn my garments”, of the Finding of the Cross, of the Crown of Thorns and of Adam.

When these stops and the prayers read at them were concluded, the procession went up to the Horrendous Golgotha.

There, His Beatitude read the Gospel narrative of the Crucifixion, which was followed by a prayer and the veneration by His Beatitude, the Archbishops, and the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos.

Afterward, four Archbishops took upon their shoulders the silk corporal of the adorned with golden thread Epitaph from the Holy Altar of Golgotha, which is above the hole-base of the Sacred Cross of Christ, and coming down the stairs with all the entourage, they placed it on the Deposition slate, and His Beatitude read before it the Gospel narrative of the Deposition.

A litany of the silk corporal three times around the Sacred Edicule followed, and then it was placed by the Archbishops on the slate of the Holy Sepulchre.

Having completed all the above, the three parts of the Lamentations of Holy Friday began by His Beatitude and the Archbishops. The 1st part started with His Beatitude, then the 2nd and the 3rd by  the Archbishops from inside the All-holy Tomb, and then the troparia of the Lamentations were sung by the Archbishops, the Priests and the Byzantine Choirs, before the Sacred Edicule and from the platforms opposite it.

At the end of the 3rd part the Sermon of the day was read by Geronda Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, as per below;

“For the preaching of the cross

 is to them that perish foolishness;

 but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18)

Your Beatitude Father and Master,

Reverend chorea of Hierarchs,

Your Excellency Consul General of Greece,

Noble Priesthood,

Noble pilgrims,

Today, as the day of Holy and Great Friday is setting and the day of the Holy and Great Saturday is about to dawn, the Church commemorates the Cross of Jesus of Nazareth, Christ the Son of God, and at the same time it commemorates  His burial. On the Cross, Jesus “having finished the mission that the Father appointed Him to do” (John 17:4), by saying “it is accomplished” (John 19:30), He gave up the ghost as human, on Friday evening, and just before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, He was buried. The task of His burial was undertaken by His secret disciple, Joseph of Arimathea. Having received the permission by Pilate, he removed Jesus’ body from the Cross and buried it at the empty tomb, which was carved in a stone by him, near the crucifixion place, where we are blessed to officiate this contrite Epitaph Service.

And while the Church commemorates a sad event, an event of death and especially a painful and humiliating death on the cross, with which the nature also was co-suffering and “was altered in pain”, and an event of a burial of “a divine in human body”, the Church does not lament, it does not mourn, on the contrary, it celebrates in contrition and modesty. It celebrates in joyful mourning. It celebrates its victory against death, through the death and burial of its Founder. It celebrates the mystery that is made familiar and understood through faith, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Incarnate Son of God. He is the One, Who took upon Himself the human nature, the whole of humanity. He is the One, in Whom according to St. Paul “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9) and in His Divine-human hypostasis, He descended to Hades through the Cross, then received again His glory and brought man in it along with Him. He appeared to those in Hades calling unto them, “enter again into Paradise”. Those who were bound in Hades in punishment did He make again citizens of Paradise. For the remission of the human sins, Christ willingly offered Himself a living sacrifice, immaculate before God, a sacrifice of blood (Hebrews 9:14). Through His divine blood that was shed on the Cross, he redeemed us from the curse, from the bondage of the letter of the Law. Being lifted up willingly on the Cross, He established with the blood of His pierced side His homonymous state, the Christian Church. This he adorned with His own blood (Acts 20:28). And in His salvific Providence, the once and for all sacrifice of His blood for the life and salvation of the world is being continued, as it is being offered now, a daily bloodless sacrifice in the Church and in the Holy Eucharist. In it, as it will be said in the Cherubim hymn of the evening Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great today, “the king of kings and the Lord of lords brings himself forth to be sacrificed and offered as food to the faithful”.

In the blood of His Cross, Christ united the two opposing worlds, the Judaic and the Greek, in one. He called the Jews who “were looking for a sign” and considered the cross to be “a scandal” and the Greeks “who sought wisdom” and considered the cross to be “foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:18-24), not to be “dismissed” but to join the ones “called unto salvation” considering the cross “the power of God that leads to salvation” and believing that “he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross” (Ephes. 2:14-16).

Our Greek Nation is joined by its own free will in this one body, the body of Christ, the Church, “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11). Our nation has kept the sciences it discovered and all the nations have assimilated them thereafter, on every aspect of life, but it abandoned its Metaphysic beliefs on the Twelve gods and “took upon itself the name of God” of Jesus of Nazareth Who was crucified.  It accepted the preaching of the Apostle of Nations and in the Greek Democratic cities that used to be without peace and full of enmities, it created oases of cultivation of noble peaceful morals, of sanctification and of salvation. It created Churches, which are all over the Greek territory, in Cyprus, in Philippi, in Thessalonica, in Corinth, in Ephesus, in Crete. It throve in the architecture of marvellous Churches, in iconography, in hymn writing, in the Theology of the Ecumenical Synods. It lifted up Christ’s Cross as a banner of power and joy on the frequent fights against barbaric nations and in its victories, but also as a shield of patience through harsh times and calamities it underwent by its conquerors.

Moreover, in the places of the incarnate presence of our Crucified Redeemer, Christ our God, the Roman Orthodox nation has been magnified. Firstly at this Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the first official Church of Christianity, of the Emperor who is known with the phrase “with this [the Cross] you win], whose “beauty can be compared with the decorum of the heavenly firmament” and then to the Church of Nea and to the Churches of the Monasteries of the citizens of the desert, the Saints; Euthymius, Savvas, and Theodosios, and of  Sophronius Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Fathers who defended the doctrine of the one hypostasis and the two natures of Christ.

The witness of these Holy Fathers has been unceasingly exhibited by the Church of Jerusalem the Mother of Churches, which fights along with its Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and in this Sacred Edicule which is “a possession and offering to Christ of the Orthodox Romans in 1810” as its architect Kalfa Komnenos from Mytilene inscribed on it. Having been renovated two years ago, this Edicule protects and decorates the joy-and-life-giving Tomb, in which the Lord who was crucified in the flesh, was buried, still in the flesh, by the grace and power of Which, the Head of the Church of Jerusalem and Officiator of this Epitaph Service, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos, and the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre with Him, wish to all of you, the noble pilgrims, “Happy Resurrection”.

The Service continued with the Eulogitaria, the Praises, and the Great Doxology before the Holy Sepulchre and the finishing of the Service was done inside the Catholicon, with the placement of the silk corporal on the Holy Altar. Then there were the readings of the prophesy, the Apolytikion and the Gospel narrative, the morning prayer and the Dismissal. At the end of all these, the Patriarchal Entourage returned to the Central Monastery, while the bells were tolling in a mourning tone.

From Secretariat-General

 

 

 

 

 

 




DOXOLOGY ON THE NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY OF MARCH 25 1821

On Monday, March 12/25, 2019, a Doxology was held on the occasion of the National anniversary of March 25 1821 at the Catholicon of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where there was a special prayer for the repose of the souls of the Fathers of our Nation who fell heroically during the years of the Ottoman Tyranny and finally a thanksgiving prayer for the liberation of the Nation.

The Doxology was led by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with co-celebrants the Archbishops of the Throne, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and Deacons, at the presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos. The chanting was delivered by the Choir Leader of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Mr. Constantinos Spyropoulos and the Ecclesiastical Byzantine Choir “St. John Koukouzelis” under the lead of Mr. Emanuel Daskalakis, while the service was attended by many Orthodox Faithful and members of the Greek Community of Jerusalem. At the end of the Service the Patriarchal entourage and all people returned to the Patriarchate Headquarters in the Reception Hall.

There, His Beatitude addressed all present as follows;

“Do not be afraid of the darkness! The freedom like the foggy star, will bring the night to dawn” says poet John Polemis.

Your Excellency Consul General of Greece Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos,

Reverend Holy Fathers and Brothers,

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Full of national boasting in Christ today we celebrate the historic anniversary of the liberation of our pious nation from the long-term slavery of the Ottoman sovereignty. Today we celebrate the anniversary of our National Rebirth.

The truly heroic Revolution of 1821 is a milestone in world history. And that’s because a small group of determined fighters, with the blessings of the Bishop Palaion Patron Germanos, raised the honest banner of the Revolution and gave the sacred oath “Freedom or Death”, “now is the struggle for all”.

This nationalistic motto echoed as an ecumenical commandment in all the centres of the enslaved Romiosyne, which hearkening to the words of the psalmist: “The Lord being mindful of us, hath helped us” (Psalm 113: 20) rushed in the sacred fight with all the forces of its rebellious children, “for the holy faith of Christ and the freedom of the homeland”, “there is no sweeter thing than homeland and religion,” General Makrygiannis will write in his memoirs.

The participation of the Church in the struggle for the regeneration of the nation was decisive. Leading ecclesiastical figures such as the Metropolitan Palaion Patron Germanos, Gregory Papaflessas, Athanasius Diakos, Bishop Isaiah Salonon, members of our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and many Priests named and anonymous, became not only the animators of the Ottoman barbaric yoke of slavery, but also examples of self-sacrifice, namely martyrs of blood, in favor of freedom, which God gave to man, as St. Paul preaches by saying, “and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor 3:17) and elsewhere: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage “(Galatians 5: 1).

In other words, the great and distinguished fighters of 1821 understood the notion of freedom and of the Homeland biblically and not in a worldly manner. “Faith to the crucified and resurrected Christ” and “freedom of the homeland” constitute the cohesive force of preserving the Greek-Orthodox tradition and the identity of the pious nation of the Romans and the Christian nation of the Greeks. This, moreover, is borne out by the lyrics of our National Poet Dionysios Solomos in the “Hymn to Freedom”, which he considers “to be drawn out of the sacred bones of the Greeks”.

The Revolution of 1821 has clearly demonstrated that determination to self-sacrifice for the defense of sacred and moral values, such as freedom and homeland, is fully enforced. This is because the one who sacrifices his life wins it forever, and tyrannical sovereignty subsides in front of the moral splendor that manifests decisively and sacrificing.

The unparalleled heroism and admirable sacrificial to the point of blood attitude of the fighters of 1821 would be good to be a source of inspiration for all of us in the face of the impending challenges of the so-called “New Age” or “New Order” in order to preserve natural laws and moral biblical values. “When the Gentiles, who have not the law, do not have the law, they have a law to themselves” St. Paul says (Romans 2:14).

Our Venerable Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, willingly and as owed, participates in this annual anniversary of the sacred commemoration of the rebirth of our Nation, and came down to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with all its members in order to offer thanksgiving praise and doxology to our God Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who was crucified and resurrected for us, for the benefit He granted to our Nation. We also offered interceding prayers for the eternal repose of the souls of those who fell heroically and gloriously in the sacred struggle of our noble nation for the nation of the Roman Orthodox people.

For all these, allow Us to raise our glass and exclaim in honour:

Long live March 25 1281!

Long live the noble and royal nation of the Roman Orthodox people!

Long live Hellas!

Long live our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood!

 

And the Greek Consul General as follows;

“Your Beatitude,

Most Reverend Archbishops,

Reverend Fathers,

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

We are glad that today we celebrate at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem the Nation’s Revolution of 1821, and remember the nation’s most glorious page of the modern history with national pride. We honor those who fought with courage, heroism and self-denial and managed, through an unequal and long struggle that demanded unspeakable sacrifices to end the four dark ages of a foreign tyrannical yoke.

On this day, we must remember the elements that made the 1821 liberation struggle distinct for both Greek and world history and which are of utmost relevance to us today. Those elements that are a lesson for all modern Greeks. Three of these elements are: The common vision of Freedom, the unity of the nation, and the courage in the face of far superior enemies and enormous objective difficulties.

The common vision was that of the free Homeland, in particular the creation of a model state, based on the principles of democracy and justice, which takes care of all its citizens, with no discriminations. This vision, especially promoted for its time, made the struggle righteous and morally imperious, enhancing the determination and vigor of the fighters and winning the sympathy of thousands of Friends of Greece who strengthened it in a variety of ways.

National unity and unity of soul were indispensable to the outcome of the Revolution, as in every common struggle. The adversary tried to divide the fighters, instigating internal quarrels, aiming to hurt faith in the just struggle, neutralize the vigor and bend the resistance of the fighters. The unity was conquered by difficulties and after civil breaks that delayed the successful outcome of the Revolution. The lesson for all, then and now, is that without unity and unity of soul, the common purpose and national laws are in danger of losing their meaning and value.

The boldness of the fighters who defied the mighty power of the oppressor  and the negative international circumstances and declared the liberation struggle, carrying it for more than eight years on land and sea, is the characteristic of the Greeks that has repeatedly pushed them to the forefront history. A prudent, computational assessment of circumstances would entail continuing national subordination and abandoning the national vision of freedom and national pride. As General Makrigiannis put it, “when the few decide to die, and when they make that decision, they lose a few times and many win.”

Today we do not forget the crucial role played by the Church in achieving the national goal, while maintaining the identity of the Greeks in the long and gloomy years of the Ottoman domination. The Church was the ark of the salvation of the Nation and the guardian of our values, preserving the language, the Christian Faith and the hope of the Resurrection of the Nation. Thus, as the fighters themselves proclaimed, the struggle of the national rebirth became “for the holy faith of Christ and the freedom of the Homeland.”

Greece does not forget the great offer of expatriate Greeks in the struggle of national rebirth and always feels grateful for it. The Friends, beginning with large urban centers in Europe, enthralled with enthusiasm and self-denial with their rebellious brothers, played a significant role in shaping the common vision of freedom and in the initial plans of the Revolution and contributed to the creation of the Philhellenic current.

March 25, 1821 remains for us all the foundation stone of our national entity and the leading station of the modern history of the Nation. The heroism, self-denial and determination of the Revolutionist fighters, and those inspired by them, to seek a free, fair and democratic Homeland, inspire us, but at the same time make us commit ourselves to being worthy of them and, like them, to rise to the height of the circumstances and to get everyone involved to overcome obstacles, however insurmountable they may seem to be.

Long live 25 March 1821!

Long live Greece!”

 

 




THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM PARTICIPATES IN THE TWO-DAY CONFERENCE OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF GREECE

A two-day conference was held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, from 28th February to 1st March 2019, with the topic: “Religious –Ecclesiastical diplomacy in the 21st century” / “Depicting Political Principles and suggestions for a Strategic course for the exercise of Religious and Ecclesiastical Diplomacy”.

In this conference the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was represented by the Patriarchal Commissioner in Constantinople Most Reverend Archbishop Nectarios of Anthedon with his speech titled: “The Patriarchate of Jerusalem as a stability and dialogue factor in the Middle East” which follows below;

THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM AS A STABILITY AND DIALOGUE FACTOR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, or otherwise “Deir Rum,” is an unbroken historical chain of holiness, martyrdom and lasting struggle for the Church of Christ and its Christian congregation, as well as of the preservation of the holy shrines, while preserving their Roman character of many centuries.

The founding of the Church of Jerusalem dates back to the day of the Pentecost and the first Bishop was the Hieromartyr Apostle Saint James the Brother of God († 62 AD).

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is active in the area of ​​Holy Land, the wider Middle East, the Persian Gulf and the Arab Emirates.

In its long history, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was first found under three state and governmental powers and authorities whose interests are on the contrary opposite. This is the difficulty both of the Patriarchate and of the Patriarch, for suddenly the Patriarchate was at the centre of political conflicts, not of local and political conflicts but of political conflicts concerning the global community.

Its presence in the Holy Land is a daily miracle, for both His Beatitude and the Holy Brotherhood are inspired by pure ecclesiastical thought, always invoking the help of God, namely the Incarnate Word of God.

The historical patrimony of the Patriarchate, its powerful theological and cultural beliefs, and its experience of living with other religions make it not only remarkable, but also a force of decisive importance in inter-Orthodox developments, interfaith dialogues, but also in every peace effort in the Middle East.

The Order of the Studious, founded by St. Helen, whose evolution is today’s Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, has taken on the protection, preservation and ministry of the Holy Shrines, as well as the pastoring of its logic flock through the religious, social, and philanthropic activity.

However, the great challenge of the Patriarchate is its coexistence with the Jewish and Arab world, and its mission and role as a factor of equilibrium, bearing in mind that Jerusalem is a city in itself religious, inextricably linked to the Sacred History of Christianity, but also to the other two monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam.

And here is the real dimension of both the role of the Patriarchate and the Patriarch, as well as of the leaders of the other two monotheistic religions for the prevalence of peace in the region. Religions play a key role in this area.

The problem of international diplomacy and of politicians is that because they do not have a deep understanding of religion issues, they try to ignore the role of religion on a global scale.

Moderately, however, they recognize that where there are conflicts of a political nature, in most cases the causes are purely religious, although they try to emphasize more the political or the national part.

Unfortunately, in recent years warfare in the Middle East region and the resulting problems have led to an even greater decline in the Christian population, yet the Church of Jerusalem does not abandon its mission of guiding its logical flock and also by maintaining the liturgical character of the Shrines, in which, souls seeking the truth, both locals and pilgrims, find their Good Shepherd, where He, through His Cross and Resurrection, ” Worked Salvation in the centre of the earth”.

Apart from its purely religious spiritual role, the Patriarchate has invested in the field of Education and Social Welfare. It is historically established that the first schools and hospitals were founded by it, and today it maintains schools within the State of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.

Through Education, it contributes precisely to the coexistence of religious entities, but also to the expansion of religious fanaticism, since Christians are a minority in the Holy Land and in the wider Middle East region.

As a result, the Patriarchate schools particularly host mostly students who are not Orthodox Christians but followers of other religions. This has the effect of contributing to the mutual understanding of the persons and, on the other hand, to the mutual understanding of the religious beliefs and symbols of each one.

And this, of course, is recognized by all, since the Patriarchate has a particular relationship with the Arab Islamic world, and in many cases acts as a bridge between the West and the East.

At the same time, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem with many efforts and sacrifices maintains at the Zion Hill the Patriarchal School of Zion, the Ecclesiastical High School of Lyceum, attended by students, many of whom after graduation remain in the Holy Land, and which acts as a nursery for the members of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood. Unfortunately, due to the particular situation that prevails, the number of pupils is small and it would be desirable to increase it.

Great efforts are also being made to reopen the Theological School of the Holy Cross, one of the earliest Greek Educational Institutes abroad, from which great theologians, both laity and clergy, graduated, who served in Orthodox Churches of the East.

His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, during the 1st International Conference of the Non-Governmental Organization “Romiosini”, which was founded by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, underlined that the purpose of the NGO is the promotion of our of the Communion in Christ of the Greek-speaking with the Arabic-speaking Roman-Orthodox Christians on the one hand, and the other Orthodox Christians on the other. Besides, this is one of the main goals that His Beatitude has set since the beginning of the practice of His pastoral ministry.

During His speech, he also pointed out that “the special position of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, under the governmental authority of the State of Israel, the Palestinian Autonomy and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Principality of Qatar, makes its recognized ab antiquo institutional Religious and Ecclesial Establishment as extremely important both for the unity of the Orthodox Churches and for the coexistence of the neighboring peoples in the area of ​​its jurisdiction “.

Given the prominent role that can be played by the religion in general and consequently by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, due to the special religious significance of Jerusalem as a holy city for the Jews, Christians and Muslims, the Patriarch of Jerusalem was invited to a Conference on the relations between the American and Islamic world in Doha, Qatar, in February 2010. In the work of the Religious Leaders Department, H.B. the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos stressed the close relation between religion and politics within the cultural context of the Islamic countries, especially the Middle East countries.

Being aware of their enormous responsibility and mission in the Middle East, the Heads of the Orthodox Churches of the region and the Archbishop of Cyprus re-established the Council of Churches of the Middle East, working together to provide support to the tested Christians in the region, as well as all kinds of spiritual relief and support in the political and religious drama that has evolved for years in the hottest region of the world.

Also, appreciating the important role played by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the Muslim world, the current President of the Turkish Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, invited His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III as speaker at the International Conference on “The Arab Spring and Peace in Middle East – Muslim and Christian Perspectives “in September 2012 in Constantinople.

In short, due to the limited time, I tried to present the importance of the presence and mission of the Venerable Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the Middle East, hoping that a dim light illuminated its great work over the centuries.

Finally, on behalf of His Beatitude my Father and Patriarch, Theophilos and the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood I would like to thank, for all the years, the unstoppable interest of Greece towards the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in every possible way, and culminating in this interest was the valuable help of the Hellenic State in the restoration of the Sacred Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre.

At the same time, however, Greece understands that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is a stronghold and a spiritual extension to the most sensitive area of ​​the planet.

 By concluding this little suggestion, it would be better to refer to the formulations of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, at the meeting of the Heads of the Orthodox Churches of the Middle East.

“Today, all political diplomats, etc., have become aware of the importance and role of religious leadership in the peaceful coexistence of people. For this reason, all religious leaders are invited to participate in any negotiations or dialogues. Their contribution is necessary and let it not seem strange to you if you look in the long run for political and international authorities in the religious leadership to find a solution to the issue of Jerusalem.

If a solution to the Jerusalem issue is found, then all problems will be resolved both regionally and globally, because the whole world crisis is based on Jerusalem. So if World Peace can ever prevail, it will again depend on Jerusalem. ”

From Secretariat-General

 

 

 

 




THE FEAST OF THE MEETING OF THE LORD IN THE TEMPLE AT THE PATRIARCHATE

On Friday, February 2/15, 2019, the Patriarchate celebrated the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Sayda Naya, which is located near the Patriarchate at the Christian Quarter.

On this Feast the Church celebrates the entrance of the Lord in the Temple of Solomon when He was a forty-day old infant, brought by His parents who offered a pair of turtles and a pair of chick pigeons. Then the Righteous Simeon received Him in his arms and having received the inspiration from the Holy Spirit, recognized Him and cried out: “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

For this Feast Vespers was held in the aforementioned Monastery in the evening and the Divine Liturgy was celebrated on the morning of the Feast, officiated by the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, with co-celebrants Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and Deacons. The chanting was delivered by the Choir Leader of the Church of the Resurrection Mr. Constantinos Spyropoulos and the Patriarchal School students, with the attendance of a large congregation of local faithful and pilgrims.

His Eminence delivered a Sermon to this congregation (see video).

During the Divine Liturgy H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos came for veneration with Hagiotaphite Fathers.

The renovator of the Monastery Reverend Nun Seraphima offered a reception to the Patriarchal and Episcopal entourages as well as to the congregation at the Hegoumeneion and the courtyard of the Monastery.

For this Feast of the Lord also, H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos participated in the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal and Monastic Church of Saints Constantine and Helen.

From Secretariat-General