On Friday, January 24, 2020, the Patriarchate celebrated the feast of our Holy Father Theodosios the Cenobiarch at the Monastery founded by him and bearing his name, in the desert of Judea, between Beit Sahour and St. Savvas’ Lavra.
In the memory and history of the Church St. Theodosios the Cenobiarch is the one who came in the Holy Land from his hometown Mogaristou of Cappadocia in the 5th century, he started his monastic ascesis at the Monastery of the Seat of Ikelia near Jerusalem and at the Monastery of Prophet Elijah and then he lived in a cave in the desert which was shown to him by the Divine Providence, and it was the same cave where the three Wise men had stayed overnight after venerating Christ and were advised to leave Bethlehem following “a different way”.
Approximately, 400 monks lived in monastic striving and offered social services with their work in this Monastery which has four Churches.
In this Monastery St. Theodosios became the Leader of the Coenobitic life in Palestine – Cenobiarch – and defender, along with St. Savvas the Sanctified, of the doctrine of the 4th Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. which dictates the one hypostasis of Christ in two natures the Divine and the Human, which are in union and co-operation without alteration of each other.
In this Monastery an All-night Vigil was celebrated on the eve of the Feast, and the Divine Liturgy was also celebrated in the morning, which was officiated by Archbishop Aristovoulos of Madaba, with co-celebrants; the Hegoumen of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour Archimandrite Ignatios, the Hegoumen of the H. Monastery of St. George BetJalla Archimandrite Ananias, Fr. George Banoura from Beit Sahour and the Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of Geromerion Archimandrite Methodios, with the participation in prayer of the Spiritual Father of the H. Monastery of St. Savvas, Fr. Eudokimos. The chanting was delivered by Byzantine choir singers from Greece and Vasilios Gotsopoulos as the service was attended by many faithful, pilgrims from Greece, Romania and mainly local faithful from Beit Sahour.
After the Divine Liturgy, the elderly Hagiotaphite ascetic and renovator of the Monastery Archimandrite Ierotheos offered a meal to the Episcopal entourage and the congregation.