Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae, for the Third Week of Great Lent.
In his speech, the Patriarch referred to the history of the church, which was destroyed by fire in 1434, stressing that “the course of the Church in the world has never been idyllic, because this course was never unrealistic and out of context”.
He also pointed out that the external “grandeur” of our Nation no longer existed in the church of Blachernae. We should not be deterred by this one bit. Quantity or external beauty does not matter at all. The truth and the spirit of the church are all that matters. And this is an eternal present, lasting forever. And today the church of Blachernae remains one of the most important sanctuaries of Greek Orthodoxy. The heart of the faithful fills with happiness upon listening to the name of the church.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch noted that the Fener, the center of Ecumenical Orthodoxy, is the place, where the faith is confessed, while the liturgical tradition and the canonical order are scrupulously observed. “The Ecumenical Patriarchate has already left an indelible mark on the history of the spiritual culture of humanity and continues to produce culture and remain a bright lighthouse and hope for the future.”
The Divine Liturgy was attended by Bishop Kirilos of Erithra, Consul of Greece in Constantinople Danae Vasilaki, Archbishop of Greece, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, members of the Association of Friends of the Esphigmenou Monastery in Mount Athos, led by the Abbot of the monastery Archimandrite Vartholomaios, pilgrims from the Metropolis of Maroneia and Komotini, led by Archimandrite Vartholomaios Iatridis of the Ecumenical Throne, and teachers and pupils of the Zografeion Lyceum, under the supervision of Principal Yani Demircioğlu.
At the reception following the liturgy, Bishop Adrianos of Halicarnassus and the supervisor of the District of Phanar and the Keratius gulf, Nicholas Kalamaris, President of the Xyloporta Community, and Patriarch thanked the supervisor and members of the Church Committee for their work.
Visit of Metropolitans to the Ecumenical Patriarchate
After the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Damaskinos of Didymoteicho, Orestiada and Soufli, and Metropolitan Anthimos of Alexandroupoli visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate, accompanied by their clergy and associates.
Yesterday, Thursday, March 28, the Ecumenical Patriarch welcomed Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Mani, from the Church of Greece, and Metropolitan Daniel of Axum, from the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who paid their respects and asked for patriarchal blessing.
The Ecumenical Patriarch congratulated Metropolitan Chrysostomos for one-year anniversary since his enthronement, and wished him to serve with loyalty the faithful of Mani for many years. The Ecumenical Patriarch also blessed the new Metropolitan of Axum, who is from Zakynthos, and before his election was a clergyman in the Metropolis of Zambia. He wished him many years in pastoral service for the benefit of the people of this ancient and historic African eparchy.