Patriarchal News Bulletin
On Sunday, January 15, 2017, His All-Holiness attended Divine Liturgy in the Venerable Patriarchal Church of Saint George, praying inside the Holy Altar while His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronisos presided.
His Excellency Konstantinos Gavroglou at the Phanar
On Sunday, January 15, 2017, His Excellency Konstantinos Gavroglou, who was born in Istanbul and is currently serving as the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of the Hellenic Republic, visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate and met with His All-Holiness. He was accompanied by His Excellency Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Istanbul, and Mr. Stavros Gioltzoglou, Education Attaché for the Greek Consulate.
The Minister attended Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church and was then received by the Patriarch and Their Eminences the members of the Holy and Sacred Synod in the Chamber of the Throne, where they had the opportunity for an in-depth discussion on contemporary issues of common concern.
On Saturday, January 14, 2016, His All-Holiness had lunch with middle and high school students from his home island of Imbros, who were participating in a weekend field trip to the City.
Sunday afternoon, January 15, 2016, the communities of Stavrodromion and Mega Revma organized an official banquet in honor of the end of the Patriarch’s silver jubilee year. The members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, His Excellency Konstantinos Gavroglou, as well as students from all of the Greek schools in the City were in attendance.
Speeches were given by Mr. Georgios Papalyari, president of the two above-mentioned communities, by Ms. Victoria B. Laimopoulou, Principal of the Patriarchal Great School of the Nation, and finally by His All-Holiness, who then blessed and cut the Vasilopita.
The students of the schools sang Christmas carols and a group photo with His All-Holiness was taken. Finally, the Patriarch offered commemorative gifts to everyone present.
His All-Holiness granted audiences to:
- His Eminence Archbishop Eirenaios of Crete, leading an official delegation from the Church of Crete comprised of Their Eminences Metropolitans Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronos, Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronesos, and the Very Reverend Archimandrite Prodromos Xenakis, Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Church of Crete.
- Their Eminences Metropolitans Joseph of Proikonnisos, and Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, members of the Holy and Sacred Synod.
- His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria, who requested the Patriarch’s blessing in anticipation of his upcoming name day.
- His Grace Bishop Kyrillos of Abydos, University Professor, from Athens, Greece.
- The Very Reverend Archimandrite Maximos Pafilis, from the Holy Metropolis of France.
- The Very Reverend Archimandrite Zacharias Lavriotis, from Crete.
- Professor Gregory Stathis, director of the Institute of Byzantine Musicology of the Church of Greece, with his daughter Ms. Aikaterini Stathi.
- Mr. Athanasios Kortidis, Secretary at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requesting the Patriarch’s blessing for his upcoming name day.
His All-Holiness visited the Osmanoğlu Clinic to wish Ms. Styliani P. Thanasoglou a speedy recovery to good health.
On Monday afternoon, January 9, 2017, His All-Holiness offered the annual luncheon in the Patriarchal dining room for the stewards and lay employees of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to celebrate the new year.
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, His All-Holiness offered the customary new year’s luncheon for the secretaries of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
His All-Holiness granted audiences to:
- The Reverend Fr. Elias Boyarskiy and his wife Olga, from Moscow, who travelled from Ankara where he had conducted the Divine Liturgy and a memorial Trisaghion in the Embassy of the Russian Federation for the repose of the soul of the late Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was assassinated in December.
- A delegation from the Istanbul Chamber of Tourist Guides, led by their President, Mr. A. Hakan Eğinlioğlu.
- Mr. Harutyun and Mr. Armen Saruhanyan, brothers, and Mr. Karekin Kalaycı, from Istanbul.
The Feast of Holy Epiphany at the Ecumenical Patriarchate
On Friday, January 6, 2017, His All-Holiness concelebrated a Patriarchal and Synodal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of Holy Epiphany of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Prior to the Divine Liturgy, at the conclusion of Orthros, His All-Holiness conducted the service of the Great Blessing of the Waters, blessing his brother hierarchs, the clergy of the Patriarchal Court, the Archons of the Ecumenical Throne, the official representatives present, including Their Excellencies Ioannis Amanatidis, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Loukakis, Ambassador in Ankara, and Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General in Istanbul, as well as the many faithful in attendance.
During the Divine Liturgy, His All-Holiness ordained the Reverend Deacon Bartholomew to the Priesthood. Fr. Bartholomew is from the brotherhood of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England.
His All-Holiness then led a procession down to the banks of the Golden Horn as the bells of the Patriarchal Church festively rang out. There, the Patriarch blessed the waters and threw the cross into the icy waters, which was retrieved by Nikolaos Solis from Agrinio, Greece. The Patriarch blessed the divers and gave them each a cross, presenting the victor with a golden cross.