The founder of the Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity of Halki and patron saint of the Theological School, Saint Photios, Patriarch of Constantinople, the Great, was honored on Monday, 6 February 2023, with the celebration of the festive Divine Liturgy, presided over by Elder Metropolitan Apostolos of Derkoi, President of the Ephorate of the Holy Monastery and Theological School of Halki.
Also present for the feast day were: Elder Metropolitan Dimitrios of Princes’ Islands, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Myra and Metropolitan Andreas of Forty Churches, Treasurer and Superintendent of the Theological School respectively, Archbishop Nektarios Anthedon, Commissioner of the Holy Sepulchre, Bishop Nikiforos of Amorion, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Vlatadon and Bishop Smaragdos of Dafnousia, Archimandrite Ephraim Givisis, representing Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki, the Member of Parliament of the Prefecture of Pieria Anna-Mani Papadimitriou, head of the Delegation of the Hellenic Parliament, former graduates of the Theological School, clergy and monks, and several pilgrims from The Princes Islands, Constantinople, and Thessaloniki.
After the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy and the blessing of the five loaves (Artoklasia) and the Kollyva of Saint Photios, a reception followed in the Great Synod Hall of the School, during which the Abbot, Bishop Kassianos of Aravissos, addressed those who had gathered, referring to the person of the Saint Photios, as a model for Halki students and graduates, as a university scholar, an accurate theologian, and a great ecclesiastical personality.
Greetings were also addressed by the officiating Hierarch, Elder Metropolitan Apostolos of Derkoi, President of the Ephorate of the School, Bishop Nikiforos of Amorion, Aboot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Vlatadon and President of the Patriarchal Foundation for Patristic Studies, with which the Theological School collaborated to organize a thematic exhibition, jointly with Byzantine Thessaloniki, on whose behalf, both the representative of its President and its General Secretary, Ms. Hara Papadopoulou, also gave a short greeting.
The address of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was read by the Deputy of the Patriarchal Deacons, Fr Alexandros. “We are praying and working for the re-opening of the School”, the Ecumenical Patriarch emphasized during his greeting, “so that Halki may once again bless the world with its teaching of theology, so that her contribution to the Church and culture may continue. In order to supply our Patriarchate the ability to acquire again qualified and dynamic persons, capable of assuming positions of responsibility in the First Throne Church of Orthodoxy”.
Then, the inauguration of the exhibition of geographical material of the School took place under the title “Halki the Byzantine Daughter: Byzantium (330 CE) through maps of the Holy Theological School”. Through the material of the exhibition, Constantinople, the Straits, Asia Minor, Imbros, Tenedos, and the Princes’ Islands are presented, through historical maps, engravings, drawings, typographical symbols, and archival material of manuscripts of the School’s students.
This was followed by a festive meal for the whole congregation.