LAST UPDATE: 20:50
Today, Friday, January 29, 2021, a Patriarchal and Synodal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs was celebrated at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George in the Phanar. The feast was held today due to COVID-19 traffic bans on the weekend in Turkey.
The Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Divine Liturgy along with Metropolitans Geron Apostolos of Derkoi, Meliton of Philadelphia, Eirinaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Chrysostomos of Myra, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Athenagoras of Kydonia, Maximos of Selyvria, Bartholomew of Smyrna and Vissarion of Spain and Portugal.
In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch underlined that today’s double celebration “is an opportunity to declare and renew our faith and to preserve undisturbed the connection between Church and School, which is our long tradition”.
“The creation of this unique tradition was decisively contributed by the Three Hierarchs, who, in parallel with theology, loved and studied the ancient Greek letters, which made them available to the sacred science.
Recalling that Constantinople was, during the Byzantine era, the most important spiritual center, the Ecumenical Patriarch pointed out that the Church today still shows its strong interest in education and youth.
The Ecumenical Patriarch made a special reference to the importance of the teaching profession, because the teachers together with the family and the Church, “cultivate the souls of their students and raise them closer to the Throne of God.” The Ecumenical Patriarch did not fail to mention the difficulties faced by teachers, especially during this period of the pandemic.
“Today, more than ever, it is necessary to support parents, students and teachers in their mission and to ensure equal and free access to quality digital education for all. When we say that children are the future, we must not forget that they too have a present, that they have their own rights, here and now, today. Therefore, when drawing up recovery plans from the pandemic, a provision should be made so that the coronavirus resistant new generation does not pay a heavy price in the long run, due to the social and economic consequences of this crisis.”