During this Advent Season,
I wish to express my profound appreciation for the time devoted, talents offered, and treasure given to support the Sacred See of Constantinople.
The 20-year Patriarchal Ministry of His All-Holiness which we observed this year is one of a few unparalleled diakonias in the 1700 year history of the Sacred See of Saint Andrew not only in terms of longevity, for His All-Holiness is one of only nine Ecumenical Patriarchs who have served for more than 20 years, but more importantly in substantive accomplishment. The historical first visit of a sitting U.S. Vice President to the Ecumenical Patriarchate earlier this month, which lasted two hours, was reflective of America’s unequivocal support of the religious freedom of the Spiritual Center of World Orthodoxy. The remarkable ministry and loving guidance of Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the fervent support of the venerable Metropolitans of the Holy Eparchial Synod, the respected parish presbyters and the steadfast commitment of our brother Archons and their wives and families who continue to serve the Holy and Great Mother Church fighting for religious freedom here in America and abroad, are extraordinary gifts for all to behold.
As we enter the New Year 2012, let us emulate the remarkable example of His All-Holiness’ ministry of Diakonia through Martyria, which serves as a worldwide example par excellence to inspire, encourage and strengthen all men and women of Goodwill. Let us recommit ourselves as Defenders of the Faith, consonant with our Patriarchal Offikia in support of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Its guiding light shines brilliantly from the Phanar, under the spiritual leadership of His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.
Let all people of goodwill rejoice in the Birth of our Lord and Savior!
In the Service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,
Anthony J. Limberakis, MD