Following a decision of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Church of Crete, a Synodal Delegation went to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Sunday, 11 June 2023, to participate in the patronal feast day of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The Synodal Delegation consisted of Metropolitan Andreas of Arkalochori, Kastelli and Viannos, Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Herronisos and Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymno and Avlopotamos.
After the end of the Divine Liturgy of the Feast of the Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas, and the Patriarchal Horostasia at the Venerable Patriarchal Church of Saint George, Ecumenical Patriarch Barthalomew received the Delegation of the Church of Crete in His office.
Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Herronissos addressed His All-Holiness, on behalf of the Delegation of the Church of Crete, as follows:
“We were made worthy again, Your All-Holiness Father and Master, by the Decision of our Holy Eparchial Synod, to come to the pious source of Orthodoxy and our Orthodox Nation, to our Lady Mother Church, in order to offer the cordial greetings and filial wishes of His Eminence Archbishop Evgenios of Crete, of the local Hierarchy, the entirety of the Holy Clergy, the monastic brotherhoods and sisterhoods and the pious people of the Church of Crete, on the occasion of the feast of your patronal feast day; at the same time, let us declare, once and for all, our gratitude and our unwavering devotion to the Holy Centre of the Ecumenical Throne and its charismatic helmsman.
All those in Crete, the children under Your Omophorion and spiritual care, we remember Your name with gratitude and thanks to the Lord, for what You always lovingly provide and do for us all.
The Orthodox ethos, which you embody, becomes known to all people as the antidote to contemporary problems, as it calms the tempest of every form of sin through the refreshing dew of the All-Holy-Spirit imbued tradition.
We humbly thank you for the testimony you give every day. Your pastoral ability along with each successful qualification of church economy, the great virtues of simplicity, unfeigned modesty and boundless love, but along with your unstinting actions, which as the years pass, instead of diminishing, increase, radiating to the ends of the world, the Gospel of the Cross and the resurrection and the word of hope in you.
All this is oil in the lamp of the Phanar, which illuminates the straight and royal path of our faith and warms our souls. It does not fade away, even when the winds of trials blow fiercely.
Temptations and doubts never escape from the Church. They are the instruments that the devil uses to fight against us all, those wanting to live piously in Christ Jesus. However, “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world“.
Accept, Your All-Holiness, our filial commitment to work and action, because we will join in your daily struggle, our great father and Patriarch, as a minimum recompense for the multiple favours and paternal affection we enjoy.
Nevertheless, we call out from the bottoms of our hearts “Many Years to you, master”, praying to the Lord to bestows on Your All-Holiness in the Church, safety, honour, and health, unto length of days, rightly teaching the word of Your truth”.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his thanks to the Church of Crete, for the participation of a Synodal Delegation at his Name Day celebrations and assured them of the paternal feelings of affection and love of the Mother Church towards the Church of the Great and Holy Island of Crete.