On Monday afternoon, he welcomed a large group of pilgrims from Samos, Ikaria and Fourni.
“We are doing all we can to be worthy successors of glorious forefathers,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, welcoming to the Patriarchal Church on the evening of November 4, just after Vespers, a large group of pilgrims from Samos, Ikaria, and Fourni, members of the “Samos Union of Asia Minor Greeks.”
“Rest assured that we are holding the Thermopylae here. Do not worry about our Ecumenical Patriarchate, just pray for it, for all of us who minister at the holy places and sanctuaries of our People (Γένους), in this historic place, this city of our fathers,” His All-Holiness said in his brief address, and continued: “We are doing all we can to be worthy descendants of glorious forefathers. Conditions are not always easy, as you know, but we are striving to do our best. Our good wishes and our love from the Phanar, from Constantinople, will always accompany you. Please convey also to those who have not been able to come with you these feelings of love and affection with the blessings of the Mother Church.”
The President of the Samos Union of Asia Minor Greeks, Ms. Anna Psara, expressed heartfelt thanks for the opportunity the pilgrims group had to receive the good wishes and blessing of His All-Holiness. “We embarked on this arduous and tedious journey from far-away Samos, some from Ikaria and a few from Fourni, to the City of Cities, which for many was the dream of a lifetime, for others a sacred pilgrimage, and for all a debt of honor to the homeland and to God,” said Ms. Psara, among other things.