Referring to yesterday’s recognition of the Ukrainian Church’s Autocephaly - The 800th anniversary of the ordination of Saint Sava, Archbishop of Serbia, was honored
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, today, October 13, Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, in the Patriarchal Church, preceded by the Divine Liturgy, on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the ordination of Saint Sava, Archbishop of Serbia, by the renowned Ecumenical Patriarch Manuel I in Nicaea of Bithynia, honored this blessed anniversary, which is also cherished by the Mother Church -- a milestone in relations with the Holy Church of Serbia.
“God granted us to live today and remember great historical events such as the ordination of Archbishop Sava in Nicaea, Bithynia, 800 years ago. Saint Sava is highly honored by our Serbian Orthodox brothers,” His All-Holiness said in his address after the Divine Liturgy, and added that the Mother Church felt it a duty to honor this great event as well.
Among the faithful who were in attendance was Ukrainian Consul General in the City, Oleksandr Gaman, and his presence gave His All-Holiness the opportunity to refer to yesterday’s decision by the Hierarchy of the Greek Church to recognize the Autocephalous Ukrainian Church.
“Today the Consul General, like all of us, should be especially happy because, as you know, brethren, yesterday the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Holy Church of Greece made a historic decision, according to which is recognized and reaffirmed the exclusive right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant Autocephaly where necessary, and, consequently, and on the basis of this right of our Patriarchate, the Holy Church of Greece recognized the Autocephaly which our Patriarchate granted months ago to the new Autocephalous Church of Ukraine. We believe and hope here at the Ecumenical Patriarchate that ultimately the ecclesiastical subject of Ukraine will be the point around which the unity of the holy Orthodox brethren of the Churches of God will be reaffirmed and strengthened on the basis of genuine ecclesiastical tradition. From this standpoint, we thank our sister Church of Greece and we are grateful to the Blessed President of the Synod of the Hierarchy of Athens and All Greece, His Beatitude Ieronymos, who took the initiative and led things to this end.”
His All-Holiness also referred to the current ordination of the new Metropolitan Ieronymos of Aigialia and Kalavryta, in the Metropolitan Church of Athens, as well as the election of two more new Metropolitans, of Fthiotidos and Lemnos, and two auxiliary bishops, expressing his warm congratulations and good wishes to those who were duly elected by the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece.
Metropolitans Meliton of Philadelphia, Irenaios of Myriophytos and Peristasis, Chrysostomos of Myra, Gennadios of Sassima, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, and Athenagoras of Kydonia were present with His All-Holiness.
The commemoration of the day was delivered by Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria, who praised the unique personality and virtues of Saint Sava, both as a Monk on the Holy Mountain and as a Hierarch, and noted that he created an inalienable link between the Mother Church and Byzantine culture with the people of Serbia.
After the dismissal, the Trisagion was prayed for the repose of the soul of the Ecumenical Patriarch Manuel I.
Yesterday, Saturday, October 12, Hierarchs, clergy and members of the Diaspora of Istanbul made a pilgrimage to Nicaea of Bithynia (Iznik), during which Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria, who also studied at the Theological School of Belgrade, among other places, had the opportunity to refer to the historic event of the ordination of Saint Sava as Archbishop of Serbia, which was performed in that city.