“Here at Constantinople, with rigor and hope, we continue to be sure that Christ is with us and He will support His Church until the end of time,” stressed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Divine Liturgy which he officiated at the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Diplokionion on Sunday, September 13, 2020.
On the recent feast of the church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew referred to the particular honor paid by the Church to the Theotokos saying that “the icon of the Mother of God holding Jesus at her side is the living center of Orthodox devoutness and Church’s Christology.”
“We seek the protection of the Virgin Mary during the most critical and difficult period of COVID-19 pandemic that created so many problems for so many people and societies, claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and keeps unsettling our daily lives, economy, education and religious life.
We are certain that the doctor of our souls and bodies, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the intercession of His Virgin Mother, will give us patience, and will enlighten the experts to develop this vaccine that will deal with the scourge of the pandemic.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch blessed all those who attended the liturgy “at this sacred place that is sanctified with faith, prayers, tears, penitence and love our ancestors,” and wished that the Virgin Mary would protect and bless our lives and deeds.
“We do not intend to eliminate ourselves and leave this place”
The Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Great Vespers for the Feast of Cross at the Parish of Saint Nicholas in Topkapi on Sunday. A reception followed at the Community Hall where the Ecumenical Patriarch spoke of “the perseverance of the Greek community to live here forever.”
“Neither few nor many, ‘but always few with many,’ in accordance with the conditions and changes, we endure, pray and continue,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch.“
“Sad days are coming, and sometimes bright days are ahead. One way or another, we are optimistic and keep alive the struggle. Each one, one from Sylivria, another from Sasima in Tatavla, one from Myriofyton in Bosporus, has its position and everybody at the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the Mother Church and the Sacred Center. It is the Center not only of the few Greeks in Constantinople but also of the Orthodox all over the world. Our Patriarchate is the first-raking Church and every Metropolis and Archdiocese under its jurisdiction have its reference to it, as well as other Orthodox Churches which are spiritual daughters and arbols of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, while other sisters Churches rely on the Ecumenical Patriarchate when they need to resolve an internal problem. When a Pan-Orthodox Council is to take place, the one to convene and preside over it has always been the Patriarch of Constantinople.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch reiterated: “We do not intend to eliminate ourselves and leave this place. Contrary to what many want and hope for, we are deeply seated here because our roots lay in deep drifts.”