Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who officially visited the Autonomous Church of Estonia from September 15 to 17, 2023, also visited areas of the Metropolis of Tallinn, as well as the Dioceses of Tartu and Pärnu and Saare.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the outdoor Divine Liturgy in Värska Laululava, Estonia, on the Saturday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 16, 2023.
On Sunday, September 17, the Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Divine Liturgy at the church of St. Isidore in Valga. Immediately after the treat offered by the priest of the Church and the Community, the Ecumenical Patriarch went to the Orthodox Cemetery of the city where he prayed before the tomb of Holy Martyr and Presbyter John Pettay.
At noon, the Ecumenical Patriarch attended a luncheon hosted in his honor by Mayor of Valga and immediately afterwards he headed to the city of Pärnu, the seat of the Holy Diocese of Pärnu and Saare.
In the afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Doxology held at the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior. Bishop Alexander of Pärnu and Saare warmly welcomed the Ecumenical Patriarch, making particular reference to the responsibilities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its support of the Autonomous Church of Estonia.
The Ecumenical Patriarch thanked the Bishop for the warm welcome and referred to the respect and love for the Ecumenical Patriarchate expressed by the authorities and ordinary citizens of Estonia.
He thanked Metropolitan Stephan, who, together with the President of the Republic of Estonia, invited him to visit the country, and urged the faithful to remain united in the Autonomous Church of Estonia, which, despite the trials, is now flourishing and bearing fruit.
Then, the Ecumenical Patriarch ordained the Honorable Enn Rand, who has supported the local Diocese, as well as to the Church of Estonia, as Archon Maistor of the Great Church of Christ.
On the same evening, the Ecumenical Patriarch visited the Pärnu Concert Hall, where he attended a concert of classical music dedicated to his visit to Estonia.
At the end of the concert, the first part of which was composed specifically in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Mayor of Pärnu, Mr. Romek Kosenkranius, hosted a reception at the Megaron.
Photos: Nikos Papachristou