Shortly before 12 noon, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived at the Athens International Airport, and will pay a six-day official visit to Athens.
The Ecumenical Patriarch was received by Metropolitan Evsevios of Samos, on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, and the Minister of Defense of Greece, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, on behalf of the Greek government, while he was honored by an Air Force detachment.
He was also welcomed by Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, Metropolitan Amfilochiosof Adrianople, Director of the Representation Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens, Bishop Philotheo of Oreoi, Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, along with executives of the Holy Synod, clergy and other people.
The Ecumenical Patriarch is visiting Athens at the invitation of the Church of Greece to participate in the Solemn festal Co-liturgy, which will be held tomorrow at the Cathedral of Athens, on the great feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, as well as on the occasion of the completion of the 30th anniversary since his election as Ecumenical Patriarch.
Today, Saturday afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch will visit Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece while, during his stay, he will meet the president of the Hellenic Republic, the prime minister, the president of the Greek Parliament and the leader of the Opposition.
He will also visit the following; the Metochion “Ascension of the Lord” of the Simonopetra Monastery of Mount Athos in Vyronas, where he will preside over the Vespers, the headquarters of the oncology unit children “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA”, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation. He will attend events organized in his honor by the Theological School of the University of Athens, the Brotherhood of Offikalioi of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Ecumenical Patriarchate Support Foundation, the Oecumenica NGO, and the Municipality of Vyronas.
The patriarchal entourage consists of Elder Metropolitans Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Metropolitan Augustine of Germany, Amfilochios of Adrianoupolis, Director of the Representation Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens, and Bartholomew of Smyrna, Grand Protosyncellus Theodoros, Grand Ecclesiarch Aetius, Director of Ecumenical Patriarch’s Private Office, Tertiary Patriarchal Deacon Kallinikos, Archon Didaskalos of the Nation Konstantinos Delikostantis, Professor emeritus and Director of the First Patriarchal Office, Nikolaos Papachristou, Director of the Press and Communication Office of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and Panagiotis Grafiadellis, employee of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.