Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianople celebrated the service in the Holy Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, which was crowded with worshipers from the Bulgarian community
April 6, 2019
“The Ecumenical Patriarchate embraces all nations and all the peoples to whom it transmitted, through its missionary activity, the Holy Orthodox Faith and Orthodox baptism,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew noted in his homily following the service of the Fourth Stasis of the Salutations, held on the morning of Friday, April 5 in the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, which was crowded with worshipers from the Bulgarian community of Adrianople, and which he concelebrated from the sanctuary. During the service, the local hierarch celebrated and warmly welcomed the Ecumenical Patriarch, thanking him for, among other things, his unwavering Patriarchal interest and his support of the flock of his Province.
Present were the ecclesiastics Metropolitan Kiprian of Stara Zagora, from the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, who addressed warm words to His All Holiness, and Bishop Kyrillos of Abydos; the Consul of Bulgaria in Adrianople, Vassil Valchev; the Consul of Greece in the same city, Sotiria Theocharidis; the President of the Bulgarian community in the city, Vasilios Liaze; the official Archons of the Holy Great Church of Christ; Mayors Paraskevas Patsouridis of Didymoteicho and Vasilios Mavridis of New Orestiada; the President of ONNED and MEP candidate Konstantinos Dervos; pupils from the Imbros School of the diaspora, along with their teachers; and faithful from Adrianople and pilgrims from Istanbul, as well as from Greece and Bulgaria.
In his response, the Ecumenical Patriarch remarked upon the enthusiasm he found in Adrianople, which he visited at the invitation of Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianople. Referring to the Bulgarian community of the city, which is spiritually and canonically subject to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he noted:
“Indeed, as we have said, Greeks and Bulgarians are united in the Orthodox faith. This is above any other distinction: language, gender, race. We are joined by our common baptism, baptism into the Holy Orthodox Church. We are united in our faith in the Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are united in the sweet anticipation of the Resurrection of the Lord, and united in the joy of the Annunciation. We are united by common goals, shared values, universal values and ideals, which the Holy Great Church of Christ has held unchallenged throughout the centuries. And thanks to these ideals and values, the Ecumenical Patriarchate embraces all nations and all the peoples to whom it transmitted, through its missionary activity, the Holy Orthodox Faith and Orthodox baptism. And among these nations and peoples who were christened and civilized thanks to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the first is the Church of Bulgaria. The eldest daughter of the Church of Constantinople is the Holy Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, in which its Mother Church, Constantinople, takes pride. And I would like to take advantage of the opportunity of the presence of the blessed brother Kiprian of Holy Stara Zagora, to send from here, from Adrianople, brotherly good wishes to His Beatitude the Patriarch of Bulgaria, Neophyte, and to all the venerable hierarchy of the Holy Church of Bulgaria, and to wish the people of Bulgaria, as well as to the brothers from Greece here present, a joyful Holy Pascha.”
He then thanked the President of the Bulgarian Community, Mr. Vassilios Liaze, for his warm reception, “and for his warm feelings towards the Mother Church,” and added:
“I confess to all of you that I feel delighted over my pilgrimage to Adrianople, and it not the first time I have come. The other time I gave thanks in St. George, the other church, and I spoke to our Bulgarian brothers there, and I transmitted to them the blessing of the Mother of the Church of Constantinople from the Phanar. And today I wish them all the good things of God and I congratulate them because they have acquired a holy Hierarch in the person of our holy brother Amphilochios of Adrianople, who embraced them all affectionately and preached to them without any distinction, without any ulterior motive, with love for all without exception. Holy Metropolitan of Adrianople, you are a precious hierarch of the Holy Great Church of Christ. In the five years since you have been promoted to the Higher Orders, you have been the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens; you are performing a great work, often inconspicuously and innocuously, but always in a substantial and effective way, with your wisdom, your experience, your knowledge, especially in Canon Law, but above all with your love and your dedication to our Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is a love freely given, bold, inalienable, not only now that you are a hierarch of our Patriarchate, but also as a monk before then, as a member of the Monastery of St. Paraskevas, you have always been on the side of our Ecumenical Patriarchate. We thank you and congratulate you on this. To commemorate my present visit to your holy Eparchy, I will give you the handbook I am holding, which has upon it the representation of the Resurrection of the Lord, and I wish your pastorate and your pastoral service to be always resurrected.”
His All-Holiness also mentioned the presence of the students from Imbros.
“My joy doubles and multiplies with the presence and prayer of our beloved children from our native land of Imbros, the desired and longed-for place. The children who brought new life to our island after the reopening of our schools there, after silence and a pause of half a century. We thank the God of our Fathers for giving us this great blessing to have again Greek Letters, Greek Education in our mother tongue in our native land of Imbros after the persecution that we Imbriots suffered in the 1960s and thereafter. We praise God and thank all the people who helped us to have our Greek minority schools again. Among others, I thank once again the enthusiastic and beloved Archon Lakis Vigas for his many efforts so that once again schools with many children would be opened again in our native land. I reserve the opportunity to meet our beloved children next month at Imbros, and to be reborn on my pilgrimage there, as I am reborn every time I step on the ground of my homeland.”
In the afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch concelebrated the service of the Fourth Stasis of the Salutations at the Patriarchal Church at the Phanar, with the Metropolitan Kallinikos of Arta. Welcoming pilgrims from various regions of Greece, he referred to the Mother Church’s concern for the children of the world, making particular reference to the recent grant of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The newly elected Metropolitan Athanasios of Sisanio and Siatista in the Ecumenical Patriarchate
The good will and blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was requested and received by Athanasios, the newly elected Metropolitan of Sisanio and Siatista, before his enthronement.
The new primate of the historic Metropolis of Macedonia, one of the Hellenic Ecclesiastical Provinces of the “New Countries” of the Ecumenical Throne, visited the Sacred Center of the Mother Church of Constantinople on Thursday, April 4, accompanied by his geron, Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria, who was Protosyncellos until his election.
The Ecumenical Patriarch congratulated him for his worthy election and wished him an abundantly fruitful Pastorate, and gave him sacerdotal gifts.