The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, 10 September 2023, at the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Helsinki, Finland, which he is visiting as part of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the granting of autonomy to the Orthodox Church in that country. The Ecumenical Patriarch was accompanied by Archbishop Leo of Helsinki and All Finland, and the Metropolitans Arsenios of Kuopio and Karelia, Athenagoras of Kydonia, Elias of Oulu, Vissarion of Spain and Portugal, and Gregory of Peristeri.
Hierarchs, clergymen, Archbishops of the Great Church of Jesus Christ, the Ambassadors of Greece and Cyprus, and hundreds of believers inside and outside the Orthodox Cathedral of Helsinki attended the service.
In his sermon, the Ecumenical Patriarch congratulated the local Church on the centenary of its autonomy, [See the speech here]
After the Dismissal, Archbishop Leo of Finland gave a speech, and then the Ecumenical Patriarch granted the offikion of Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne to the Protopresbyters Markuu Salminen and Mr. Timo Tynkkynen, clergymen of the Archdiocese, and then ordained two new Offikialioi, Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen as Archon Referendarios of the Great Church of Jesus Christ and Risto Nordell as Archon Deputatos of the of the Great Church of Jesus Christ.
In the afternoon of the same day, the Ecumenical Patriarch, accompanied by Archbishop Leo, visited the Somainen Correctional Institution in Helsinki, where, in the Orthodox Chapel that operates inside, he was welcomed by representatives of the Directorate and the two clergymen, one Orthodox and one Lutheran, who serve there the pastoral needs of the prisoners. The Patriarch thanked them for the information and congratulated the clergy for their spiritual support and general care for the prisoners.
In the evening, the Ecumenical Patriarch attended the reception hosted in his honor by the Ambassador of Greece, Natalia Karageorgos, at the Embassy Residence, in the presence of Diplomats, members of the Greek Community, and many other guests.
In the afternoon of Saturday, 9 September, the Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Doxology celebrated at the Cathedral on the occasion of the centenary of the autonomy of the Church of Finland, at the end of which he addressed the clergy and people of the local Church [See the speech here].
In the morning of the same day, the Ecumenical Patriarch visited the camp of Orthodox youth in Kaunisniemi, where a prayer was celebrated for the restoration of peace in war-torn Ukraine, as the camp also hosts children from that troubled country. Earlier, the Patriarch visited the parish of St. Nektarios, where he blessed the gathered faithful.
Photos: Nikos Papachristou / Ecumenical Patriarchate