“Those who have steadfast faith in Christ and love in Christ and in their fellow human beings are equal in the eyes of God, are brothers before the Throne of the Lord,” pointed out Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his homily at the metochion of Saint Andrew under the Vatopedi Monastery, after the Divine Liturgy, which was celebrated today, Friday, December 13. According to the Julian calendar, the Russian-speaking community of Constantinople celebrates the memory of St. Andrew the Apostle.
Addressing the numerous faithful, the Ecumenical Patriarch pointed out that the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not discriminate between Russians, Greeks and other nationalities, because the common Orthodox faith was the most important thing. He also referred to the recent decision made by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to canonize Saint Sophrony (Sakharov), the founder of the Patriarchal Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist in Essex, who was of Russian descent. The Ecumenical Patriarchate also canonized a few months earlier Saint Luke, Bishop of Simferopol and Crimea, the Blessed Surgeon.
The Ecumenical Patriarch was delighted that on Saint Andrew’s Day he was among the members of the Russian-speaking community of Constantinople to celebrate with them the memory of Saint Andrew the First-Called, Founder of the Church of Constantine and Constantinople and Patron Saint of the metochion.
He welcomed the presence of the Consulates General of Greece and Moldova in Constantinople, Georgia Soultanopoulou and Alexandru Prigorschi, and asked them to convey to their faithful of their countries, in view of the Christmas holidays, his fatherly love and the blessing of the Mother Church.