“Under this sun, there is a place for all people because we are brothers without divisions. Because the world is like a neighborhood that we must take care of to become beautiful and blessed.”
With this message, Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa concluded his speech today at the service that took place in the Holy Monastery of Saint Sava in Alexandria, on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of his patriarchal consecration.
On October 9, the then Metropolitan of Zimbabwe, Theodore, was unanimously elected as the 126th primate of the African Orthodox Church. The Alexandrian Patriarch recalled those moments with emotion, with bells ringing, the bishops praising his work, and the faithful waiting for him outside the church to congratulate the then new patriarch.
“From the day of my election, I have made a promise that I always try to keep,” said today the Patriarch of Alexandria, “I let no one leave my side with resentment. No one will leave my side without consolation. That is why my effort and my love are all, whether they are near me or far away, to taste a few drops of love, peace and hope, we are all a family in the name of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark.”
At the same time, he commemorated his three predecessors, the late Patriarchs; Nicholas VI, Parthenios III and Peter VII, whose work he continues today in the Alexandrian Church.
Patriarch Theodore warmly thanked the Metropolitans present in Alexandria today; the Exarch of the Alexandrian Church in Athens, Metropolitan Georgios of Guinea, the Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria, Metropolitan Germanos of Naucratis, Metropolitan Savvas of Nubia and Bishop Germanos of Tamiatheus, as well as the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod, Archimandrite Nikodimos Totkas.
The Patriarch of Alexandria also expressed his gratitude to Greece for its contribution to the missionary work of the African Orthodox Church by thanking the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Athanasios Kotsionis.
He also made special mention of the support provided to the Patriarch by the Greek community of Alexandria, “the ancient, historical queen of communities throughout Africa,” as he described it.
The Community was represented by the First Vice President, Andreas Vafiadis, in the presence of the Secretary-General, Dimitris Kavouras, who congratulated him and conveyed to him on behalf of the community committee the wishes of the Alexandrian parish.
He also thanked the President of the Cyprus Brotherhood of Egypt, Maro Formozi, and Cyprus for their warm support, which along with Greece and Egypt, contribute to making the Mediterranean a sea of peace. Moreover, he thanked the President of the Association of Greek Scientists of Alexandria “Ptolemy,” Lilika Thlivitou, and the President of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women of Alexandria, Aliki Antoniou.
Finally, he thanked his sister, Roula Mahla, for her presence, and remembered with emotion their late mother, Cleopatra. “We owe everything to our mother from Asia Minor, Cleopatra. May her wish be with me,” concluded the Patriarch.