Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke about the difficult period of isolation due to COVID-19 pandemic, who presided over the Divine Liturgy on Monday, June 8, at the Church of the Holy Trinity of the Stavrodromi Community.
It was the first pastoral visit of Ecumenical Patriarch to the community in Constantinople after the measures taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate last March, in the context of curbing the COVID-19 spread.
“We celebrated the biggest and happiest celebration of our faith, the Resurrection of the Lord, behind closed doors, but with absolute certainty that the Risen Lord was with us.
In fact, we felt him close to us, we had the joy of His Resurrection and His grace in our hearts,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch, who described the coronavirus as “an unexpected and definitely undesirable visitor,” that “isolated us and forced us to close our churches.”
He expressed his hope that with God’s help this crisis would be over and congratulated the faithful who followed the instructions and recommendations by the competent health authorities and comply with the protection measures recommended.
He also referred to the commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council, which took place in the Church of Hagia Irene in Constantinople in AD 381. the feast was postponed due to the restrictive measures.
“All the ecumenical councils, which ratified, established, formulated the doctrines of the Church, were convened either in Constantinople or in the surrounding areas, with Ephesus being the furthest place where the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus took place. That is why Constantinople was honored with the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils and was given honor equal to that of the Bishop of Rome.
Everything was created and cultivated here in Constantinople, the capital of the Christian Empire for 1100 years, the spiritual capital of Greekness, the capital of our Nation, in which we have the privilege of having the sacred seat of our Ecumenical Patriarchate.