On Thursday, May 25, 2023, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the feast of the Ascension of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ into heaven, deifying the body of our human nature He had assumed and sat at the right hand of God and Father and from whom He sent us the Comforter Holy Spirit.
This Despotic feast was celebrated in the place of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives in accordance with the narratives of the Evangelists (Matt. ch. 28,16 Mark. 16,19, Luke. 24,50 and Acts ch. 1) with Vespers in the afternoon, led by His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa, along with the Hagiotaphite Hieromonks Fr Dionysios, Fr Kallistos, Fr Claudius, Fr. Amphilochios and the Priests of Saint James Cathedral. Local faithful Christians attended the service.
After Vespers, a litany followed to the Monastery of the Men of Galilee, which was received, by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem.
On the day of the feast, a Divine Liturgy was held at this place, presided over by Archbishop Damascene of Joppa, with the co-celebration of Archimandrite Mattheos and Hierodeacon Dositheos, representative Priests of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and of the Patriarchates of Moscow, Romania, and Serbia, with the prayerful participation of many pilgrims and members of the Greek Consulate General.
During the Divine Liturgy, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and the members of the Holy Synod visited the place for veneration.
Afterwards, Patriarch Theophilos visited the Sheikh at the mosque adjacent to the holy shrine, according to custom, aiming at peaceful coexistence, then He visited the Holy Monastery of the Ascension opposite the pilgrimage, where He was received by the caretaker Monk Achillios, who has devoted himself in beautifying, reconstructing and renovating the shrine.
Afterwards, Patriarch Theophilos visited the nearby Holy Women’s Monastery of the Ascension of the Russian Church and blessed the believers there, under Metropolitan Mark, Archbishop Job and the Archimandrite Head of the Monastery Fr Romanos.
Finally, Patriarch Theophilos visited the Holy Monastery of the Men of Galilee (Galilei Viri). He was received by the Caretaker of the Monastery nun Danielia, who maintained and renovated the shrine.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem