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Prot. No. 1338

By the Mercy of God Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church
Grace, Peace and Mercy from the Savior Christ Born in Bethlehem

*   *   *

Beloved brother concelebrants and blessed children in the Lord,

Within the somber atmosphere that recently prevails throughout the world with the diverse affliction of the financial, social, moral and especially spiritual crisis, which has created increasing frustration, bitterness, confusion, anxiety, disappointment and fear among many people with regard to the future, the voice of the Church sounds sweet:

Come, O faithful, let us raise our minds to things divine and behold the heavenly condescension that has appeared to us from above in Bethlehem …

(Hymn from the 6th Hour, Christmas)

The unshakeable belief of Christians is that God does not simply or indifferently observe from above the journey of humanity, which He has personally created according to His image and likeness. This is why the incarnation of His only-begotten Son and Word was from the very beginning His "good will," His original intention. His "pre-eternal will" was precisely to assume in His person, in an act of extreme love, the human nature that He created in order to render it "a participant of divine nature." (2 Peter 1.4) Indeed, God willed this prior to the "fall" of Adam and Eve, even before their very creation! Following the "fall" of Adam and Eve, the "pre-eternal will" of the Incarnation embraced the Cross, the Sacred Passion, the Life-giving Death, the Descent into Hades, and the Resurrection after three days. In this way, the sin that infiltrated human nature thereby infecting everything and the death that surreptitiously penetrated life were completely and definitively dispelled, while humanity was able to enjoy the fullness of the Paternal and eternal heritage.

However, the divine condescension of Christmas is not restricted to things related to eternity. It also includes things related to our earthly journey. Christ came into the world in order to spread the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven and to initiate us into this Kingdom. Yet, He also came in order to help and heal human weakness. He miraculously and repeatedly fed the multitudes who listened to His word; He cleansed lepers; He supported paralytics; He granted light to the blind, hearing to the deaf and speech to the dumb; He delivered the demonized of impure spirits, resurrected the dead, supported the rights of the oppressed and abandoned; He condemned illegal wealth, heartlessness to the poor, hypocrisy and "hubris" in human relations; He offered Himself as an example of voluntary self-emptying sacrifice for the sake of others!

Perhaps this dimension of the message of divine incarnation should be particularly emphasized this year. Many of our friends and colleagues are experiencing terrible trials from the current crisis. There are countless numbers of unemployed, nouveau poor, homeless, young people with "cropped" dreams. Nevertheless, Bethlehem is translated as a "House of Bread!" Therefore, as faithful Christians, we owe all of our troubled brothers and sisters not only the "essential bread" – that is to say, Christ, who lies in swaddling clothes in the simple manger of Bethlehem – but also the daily tangible bread of survival and all that "pertains to the bodily needs." (James 2.16) Now is the time for a practical application of the Gospel message with a dignified sense of responsibility! Now is the time for a clear and exact implementation of the words of the Apostle: "Show me your faith with works!" (James 2.18) Now is the time and the opportunity for us "to raise our minds to things divine" to the height of the royal virtue of Love, which brings us closer to God.

This is what we proclaim to all the children of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from this sacred and martyric See, the Church of the Poor of Christ, and we invoke upon all of you the divine condescension and the boundless mercy, as well as the peace and grace of the Only-Begotten Son and Word of God, who for our sake was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. To Him belong the glory, power, honor and worship, with the Father and the Spirit, to the ages of ages. Amen.

At the Phanar, Holy Christmas 2010
X BARTHOLOMEW of Constantinople
Your fervent intercessor before God







Prot. No. 316


By the Grace of God,
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch,
To all the Faithful of the Church:
Grace, mercy, and peace from Christ the Savior Risen in Glory

*   *   *

Beloved brothers and sisters, dear children in the Lord,

Christ is Risen!

          Once again, the sacred day of Pascha has dawned in full delight and splendor, dispersing joy, comfort, gladness and assurance of life to all faithful, despite the heavy atmosphere that prevails in our world on account of the multidimensional crisis with all its familiar painful consequences for our daily life.

Christ has risen from the tomb as divinely human; and humanity has risen with Him! The tyranny of death belongs to the past. The hopelessness of hades’ captivity has irrevocably gone. The only powerful Giver of life, having through His Incarnation voluntarily assumed all of the misfortune of our nature and all that it entails, namely death, has already “brought death to hades by the lightning of divinity,” granting us life – and “life in abundance.” (John 10.10)

This abundance of life, which was granted to us by the Risen Lord, is ceaselessly slandered and assaulted by the devil – indeed, these actions are the source of his very name – although he is now weakened, completely powerless, and entirely ridiculous. The devil slanders Life by means of the hubris that still prevails in the world against God, humanity and the creation. The devil assaults Life by means of the sinful tendency that exists within us like “old rust,” using this to entrap us either into tangible sin or delusional belief. Hubris is the offspring of that “rust”, while both comprise the sinister couple responsible for disrupting relationships within ourselves, with others, as well as with God and the whole creation. Accordingly, it is imperative that we purify ourselves of this rust with great attentiveness and carefulness in order that the profuse life-giving light of the Risen Christ may shine in our mind, soul and body, so that it may in turn dispel the darkness of hubris and pour the “abundance” of life to all the world.

This cannot be achieved by philosophy, science, technology, art, or any ideology; it can only be achieved through faith in what God has condescended for us human beings through His Passion, Crucifixion and Burial, descending to the depths of hades and rising from the dead as the divine-human Jesus Christ. It is also expressed in the sacramental life of the Church as well as through laborious and systematic spiritual struggle. The Church, as the Body of Christ, unceasingly and to the ages experiences the miracle of the Resurrection; through its sacred Mysteries, its Theology and its practical teachings, it offers us the possibility of participating in that miracle, of sharing in the victory over death, of becoming children shaped by the light of the Resurrection and truly “partakers of divine nature.” (2 Peter 1.4), just as in the life of every Saint in the past and present. The thorny weeds of passions growing within the depths of our heart, polluted by the rust of “the old self” (Eph. 4.22) must definitely be transformed as soon as possible in Christ, through Christ and for the sake of Christ and His living images that surround us – namely, our fellow human beings – into a bouquet of virtues, holiness, and righteousness. Hence, the sacred hymnographer chants in timely manner: “Let us put on the robe of righteousness, which is whiter than snow, and let us rejoice today in the day of the Pascha; for Christ, the sun of righteousness that rises from the dead, has showered upon us the light of incorruption.”

The white garment of righteousness was given to us symbolically on the day of our Baptism; and we are invited to cleanse it continually through constant repentance, control of desires, patience in life’s pain, and relentless effort to fulfill the commandments of God, and especially the supreme commandment of love. In this way, we are able to participate in the cross-bearing self-emptying of Christ, in order that the Paschal gladness, radiant light, and joyful salvation may enter our life and world.

We address this from the Phanar, where we experience the suffering of Holy Friday and the light of the Resurrection, as we express to you the affection of the Mother Church, wholeheartedly wishing for all the saving gift and Paschal blessing of the Lord of Life, who rose from the dead.

Holy Pascha 2010
Fervent supplicant for all before the Lord
+ Bartholomew of Constantinople

To be read in churches during the Divine Liturgy, following the Holy Gospel, on the Feast of Pascha.

Dismissal Hymn of the Resurrection, First Tone.

From Vespers on the Sunday of Thomas.






Prot. No. 213

Patriarchal and Synodal Encyclical
On the Sunday of Orthodoxy
(February 21, 2010)



By God’s Grace
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Fullness of the Church, Grace and Peace
From our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

          Our most holy Orthodox Church today commemorates its own feast day, and – from this historical and martyric See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – the Mother Church of Constantinople directs its blessing, love and concern to all of its faithful and dedicated spiritual children throughout the world, inviting them to concelebrate in prayer.
Blessed be the name of the Lord! Those who endeavored over the ages to suppress the Church through various visible and invisible persecutions; those who sought to falsify the Church with their heretical teachings; those who wanted to silence the Church, depriving it of its voice and witness; they all proved unsuccessful. The clouds of Martyrs, the tears of the Ascetics, and the prayers of the Saints protect the Church spiritually, while the Comforter and Spirit of Truth leads it to the fullness of truth.
With a sense of duty and responsibility, despite its hurdles and problems, as the First-Throne Church of Orthodoxy, the Ecumenical Patriarchate cares about protecting and establishing the unity of the Orthodox Church, in order that with one voice and in one heart we may confess the Orthodox faith of our Fathers in every age and even in our times. For, Orthodoxy is not a museum treasure that must be preserved; it is a breath of life that must be transmitted and invigorate all people. Orthodoxy is always contemporary, so long as we promote it with humility and interpret it in light of the existential quests and needs of humanity in each historical period and cultural circumstance.
To this purpose, Orthodoxy must be in constant dialogue with the world. The Orthodox Church does not fear dialogue because truth is not afraid of dialogue. On the contrary, if Orthodoxy is enclosed within itself and not in dialogue with those outside, it will both fail in its mission and no longer be the “catholic” and “ecumenical” Church. Instead, it will become an introverted and self-contained group, a “ghetto” on the margins of history. This is why the great Fathers of the Church never feared dialogue with the spiritual culture of their age – indeed even with the pagan idolaters and philosophers of their world – thereby influencing and transforming the civilization of their time and offering us a truly ecumenical Church.
Today, Orthodoxy is called to continue this dialogue with the outside world in order to provide a witness and the life-giving breath of its faith. However, this dialogue cannot reach the outside world unless it first passes through all those that bear the Christian name. Thus, we must first converse as Christians among ourselves in order to resolve our differences, in order that our witness to the outside world may be credible. Our endeavors for the union of all Christians is the will and command of our Lord, who before His Passion prayed to His Father “that all [namely, His disciples] may be one, so that the world may believe that You sent me.” (John 17.21) It is not possible for the Lord to agonize over the unity of His disciples and for us to remain indifferent about the unity of all Christians. This would constitute criminal betrayal and transgression of His divine commandment.
It is precisely for these reasons that, with the mutual agreement and participation of all local Orthodox Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has for many decades conducted official Panorthodox theological dialogues with the larger Christian Churches and Confessions. The aim of these dialogues is, in a spirit of love, to discuss whatever divides Christians both in terms of faith as well as in terms of the organization and life of the Church.
These dialogues, together with every effort for peaceful and fraternal relations of the Orthodox Church with other Christians, are unfortunately challenged today in an unacceptably fanatical way – at least by the standards of a genuinely Orthodox ethos – by certain circles that exclusively claim for themselves the title of zealot and defender of Orthodoxy. As if all the Patriarchs and Sacred Synods of the Orthodox Churches throughout the world, who unanimously decided on and continue to support these dialogues, were not Orthodox. Yet, these opponents of every effort for the restoration of unity among Christians raise themselves above Episcopal Synods of the Church to the dangerous point of creating schisms within the Church.
In their polemical argumentation, these critics of the restoration of unity among Christians do not even hesitate to distort reality in order to deceive and arouse the faithful. Thus, they are silent about the fact that theological dialogues are conducted by unanimous decision of all Orthodox Churches, instead attacking the Ecumenical Patriarchate alone. They disseminate false rumors that union between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches is imminent, while they know well that the differences discussed in these theological dialogues remain numerous and require lengthy debate; moreover, union is not decided by theological commissions but by Church Synods. They assert that the Pope will supposedly subjugate the Orthodox, because they latter submit to dialogue with the Roman Catholics! They condemn those who conduct these dialogues as allegedly “heretics” and “traitors” of Orthodoxy, purely and simply because they converse with non-Orthodox, with whom they share the treasure and truth of our Orthodox faith. They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being “the pan-heresy of ecumenism” without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers.
Beloved children in the Lord, Orthodoxy has no need of either fanaticism or bigotry to protect itself. Whoever believes that Orthodoxy has the truth does not fear dialogue, because truth has never been endangered by dialogue. By contrast, when in our day all people strive to resolve their differences through dialogue, Orthodoxy cannot proceed with intolerance and extremism. You should have utmost confidence in your Mother Church. For the Mother Church has over the ages preserved and transmitted Orthodoxy even to other nations. And today, the Mother Church is struggling amid difficult circumstances to maintain Orthodoxy vibrant and venerable throughout the world.
From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this sacred Center of Orthodoxy, we embrace all of you lovingly and bless you paternally, praying that you may journey in health through the holy period of contrition and asceticism known as Holy and Great Lent in order that you may become worthy of celebrating the pure Passion and glorious Resurrection of our Savior Lord with all faithful Orthodox Christians throughout the world.
Sunday of Orthodoxy 2010
+ Bartholomew of Constantinople
Fervent supplicant to God for all

+ Constantine of Derkon
+Evangelos of Perge
+ Kallinikos of Lystra
+ Michael of Austria
+ Alexios of Atlanta
+ Joseph of Proikonnisos
+ Demetrios of Sevasteia
+ Irenaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis
+ Chrysostom of Myra
+ Emmanuel of France
+ Makarios of Gortyna and Arkadia
+ Amphilochios of New Zealand






Catechetical Homily
On the Commencement of Holy and Great Lent


By God’s Mercy
Archbishop of Constantinople the New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church
Grace and Peace be to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Together with our Prayer, Blessing, and Forgiveness

          Beloved brothers and sisters, children in the Lord,

          Tomorrow, we enter the period of Holy and Great Lent. In the Lenten vespers of Forgiveness chanted this evening, we shall hear the sacred hymnographer urging us to “begin the time of fasting with joy, submitting ourselves to spiritual struggle” in preparing to welcome the great Passion and joyful Resurrection of our divine-human Lord.

Therefore, what is demanded is a joyful disposition in order to embrace fervently the spiritual struggle of this period of contrition in purification and prayerfulness. Fasting, abstinence, frugality, restriction of personal desires, intense prayer, confession, and similar ascetic elements are essential to the period of Great Lent and should not be considered burdensome obligations or unbearable duties that result in despondency or dejection. When doctors recommend diet or exercise as necessary prerequisites for psychosomatic health and vigor, the first advice they offer by way of a mandatory condition of success is a pleasant mental disposition, which includes smiling and positive thinking. The same also applies to the spiritual period of fasting that opens before us. Great Lent should be regarded as an invaluable divine gift. It is a sacred time of divine grace, which seeks to detach us from things material, lowly and corrupt in order to attract us toward things superior, wholesome and spiritual. It is a unique opportunity to remove from the soul every passion, to rid the body of everything superfluous, harmful and mortal. Accordingly, then, it is a time of immense rejoicing and gladness. A genuine feast and exhilaration!

          Nevertheless, my beloved children, the fasting expected of us by the Church, as well as the abstinence, frugality, restriction of personal desires and unnecessary pleasures or expenses, literally constitute a prescription for salvation. This is especially true this year, when our world has experienced a global economic crisis, filled with imminent danger of bankruptcy not only for individuals and companies, but also for entire nations throughout the planet, with destructive consequences         in skyrocketing unemployment, the creation of entire hosts of people plagued by poverty, depression, social turmoil, increase in crime, and other such tragedies. Great Lent instructs us to journey daily with a little less, without the arrogance of extravagance, waste and display. It encourages us to surrender all forms of greed and ignore the challenges of commercial advertising, which constantly promotes new and false necessities. It incites us to limit ourselves to what is absolutely essential and necessary in an attitude of dignified, deliberate simplicity. We are not to be a consuming or compulsive herd of thoughtless and heartless individuals, but a society of sensitive and caring persons, sharing with and supporting our “neighbor” that is in poverty or recession. Finally, Great Lent informs us about patience and tolerance in moments of smaller or larger deprivation, while simultaneously emphasizing the need to seek God’s assistance and mercy, placing our complete trust in His affectionate providence. That is how Christ envisions Great Lent. That is how the Saints lived Great Lent. That is how the Church Fathers undertook the struggle of Great Lent. That is how our faith has traditionally understood Great Lent. That is how the Church of Constantinople, in its wide experience and unceasing vigilance, has always projected and proclaimed Great Lent, and particularly in the current global circumstances.

          In sharing these pastoral thoughts and words from the historical and holy Phanar, we extend to all of you our paternal prayer and spiritual blessing for a fruitful journey through the period of Great Lent.

          Holy and Great Lent 2010

          + Bartholomew

          Fervent supplicant before God






Prot. No. 1237


By God’s Grace
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church
Grace, peace and mercy from the Savior Christ
Born in Bethlehem

Beloved concelebrants and blessed children in the Lord,

Heaven and earth have united
Through the birth of Christ.
Today, God has appeared on earth,
And man has ascended to heaven.
(Christmas Hymn)

          The distance and separation between God and humanity resulting from sin has been abolished with the assumption of the entire human nature by the Only-Begotten Son and Pre-eternal Word of God. It was God’s good will – that is to say, His initiative and will – that the incarnation of His Son should abolish all such distance uniting heaven and earth, as well as creation with its Creator.
During the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos, the Church chanted: “Today is the beginning of God’s good will and the proclamation of human salvation.” During that feast, through the dedication of the blessed Mary to the temple and her preparation there to become the bearer of the boundless God, the road was paved for the incarnate dispensation of God, which foretold our salvation.
During the feast of the Annunciation, when the divine conception of the Inconceivable occurred through the Holy Spirit within the womb of the Theotokos and divine nature began to coexist with human nature in order that – as St. Athanasius the Great articulated it – “we might become deified,” the Church again chanted: “Today is the beginning of our salvation and the revelation of the pre-eternal mystery; the Son of God becomes the son of the Virgin.” Thus, the “divine good will” welcomed at the Entrance, as well as the salvation commenced and revealed at the Annunciation, are today rendered a tangible reality, as we celebrate the great and holy day of Christmas. Today, “the Word assumes flesh and dwells among us” (John 1.14), while the Angels celebrate the event, chanting: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among humankind.” (Luke 2.14)
With the Incarnation of the Divine Word, the salvation of the human race has already potentially occurred. For those who believe in Jesus, live in accordance with this faith, fulfilling His commandments and practicing His teaching, are thereby elevated to become the friends and participants of God! They become “partakers of divine nature” (2 Peter 1.14), gods by grace! This takes place exclusively within the Church, where we are reborn in Christ and adopted by the Father through Holy Baptism and through the holy Sacraments, as well as by cultivation of virtue in order to be filled with divine grace and the Holy Spirit, growing “to maturity, to the measure o the full stature of Christ” (Eph. 4.13) until we reach the level of saying, like St. Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2.20) Those who acquire such perfection are not regarded by Christ simply as His friends or brothers, but are recognized by Him as members of His Body. This is why, from the height of the Cross, he would say to His Most Holy Mother about the Evangelist John: “Woman, here is your son,” and to John: “Here is your mother.” (John 19.26-27) Christmas, therefore, opens wide the door of human “christification” and deification by grace; and for this reason, “the entire creation rejoices in celebration and the heavens delight with us” on this day of significance and salvation.” (Hymn of December 28)
With these joyful and hopeful realities before us, from the sacred See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Phanar, we extend to you our fervent festive congratulations and wholehearted Patriarch wishes on this central feast of the Christian calendar. We greet all of our beloved faithful throughout the world, the beloved children of the holy Mother Church – clergy of all levels, monastics and laity, pastors and parishioners, and especially those suffering, experiencing sorrow, need or trial. May the pre-eternal Son of God – who was born in a cave and lay in a manger – who for our sake became Son of Man, render all of us worthy of his self-emptying love and of His sacred, venerable incarnate dispensation.

          At the Phanar, Christmas 2009

          Bartholomew of Constantinople

          Fervent supplicant for all before God





Prot. No. 407

By the Grace of God
Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome
And Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church
Grace, Peace and Mercy
By the Savior Christ Risen in Glory

Dearly beloved brothers and children in the Lord,

Christ is Risen!

In sullenness, one day in the 19th century, humankind heard from the lips of the tragic philosopher: “God is dead! We killed him! All of us are his murderers … God will remain dead! What else are the churches but tombs and graves of God?”  And only a few decades later, we heard from the lips of his younger colleague: “Gentlemen, I declare to you the death of God!”

These declarations of atheist philosophers shook the conscience of people. Much confusion ensued in the field of the spirit and of literature, of art and sometimes even of Theology, where, especially in the West, there was debate even about a “Theology of the death of God.”

Of course, the Church never had the slightest doubt that God had died. This occurred in 33AD, on the hill of Golgotha in Jerusalem, in the reign of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judaea. After suffering an unspeakable passion, He was crucified as a criminal and, at about the ninth hour of the Preparation of the Passover, he said: “It is accomplished!” and surrendered His spirit. This is an unquestionable historical reality. The Only-begotten Son and Word of God, Jesus Christ, the true God, died for our sake.  After assuming everything that we have: body, soul, will, energy, toil, agony, pain, sorrow, joy, all things except sin, he finally assumed our greatest concern, namely death – indeed, in its most cruel and humiliating expression, namely on the Cross. To this point, we are in agreement with the philosophers. We would even accept that the churches, the temples, are “the tombs and graves of God.” Nevertheless … we recognize, experience and worship this God who has died, as “a most life-giving dead.” Only moments after that awful Preparation, in the morning watch of “the first of the Sabbath,” on the day of the Lord, what occurred was the reason for which the divine economy of the flesh, passion, cross and descent into Hades took place. The Resurrection! And this Resurrection is an equally unquestionable historical reality! This reality has immediate and salvific consequences for all of us. The Son of God, who is at the same time the Son of Man, was risen. God was resurrected together with all of humanity that He assumed: in the Body that He received from the pure blood of the Most Holy Theotokos as well as in His sacred soul. He was risen from the dead, “resurrecting the whole of Adam in His loving-kindness.” Christ’s grave, the “empty tomb” of Joseph, is forever empty. Instead of being a grave for the dead, it is a memorial of victory over death; it is a fountain of life! The spiritual Sun of Righteousness has dawned “beautiful, as from a grave,” granting the unwaning light, peace, joy, gladness, and eternal life. It is true that the temples were the “tombs” of God, but they were empty tombs, filled with light and replete with “the fragrance of life”  and the smell of Paschal spring, brilliant, splendid, adorned in glory and with life-giving flowers of tangible hope. The death of God overturned the powers of Hades; death itself was reduced to nothing more than a mere incident introducing humanity from death to Life. The Churches, those “tombs of God,” are the wide-open gates of divine love, the opened entrance to the Bridal chamber of God’s Son, who “came out of the tomb as from a Bridegroom,” while we faithful enter therein and “celebrate the death of death, the annihilation of Hades, the beginning of a new, eternal way of life; and, thus rejoicing, we offer hymns to the cause, namely the only blessed and glorious God of our fathers.”

It is fortunate, then, that God died because His death became the source of our life and resurrection. It is fortunate that there are so many of His “tombs” throughout the world, so many sacred temples, where each of can freely enter when we are in pain, tired, and in need of consolation in order lay before God the burden of our suffering, agony, fear and insecurity – namely, in order to become rid of our death. It is fortunate that we have Churches of the crucified, dead, risen and living Christ, where before the hopelessness of our time, the betrayal of all idols, the “lowly gods” that have stolen our hearts, such as the economy, the ideology, the philosophy, the metaphysics and all those “empty deceits”  of our “age of deception,”  we can find refuge, comfort and salvation.

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Mother Church, which experiences to the utmost the Passion, Pain, Cross, and Death, as well as the Resurrection of Christ, we extend to all the faithful of the Church our wholehearted Paschal greeting and blessing, together with the embrace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was risen from the dead and lives eternally, granting life to all people. To Him be glory, might, honor and worship, with the Father and Holy Spirit, to the ages. Amen.

Holy Pascha 2009
+BARTHOLOMEW of Constantinople

Your fervent intercessor before the Risen Christ





Παναγιώτατε Πάτερ καί Δέσποτα,

Ἡ Ὑμετέρα Θειοτάτη Παναγιότης ἡγίασε καί ηὐλόγησε σήμερον μίαν νέαν ἐνορίαν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Μητροπόλεως Ἰταλίας καί Μελίτης, ἡ ὁποία εὑρίσκεται μέσα εἰς τήν καρδίαν τῆς ἀρχοντικῆς καί πολιτιστικῆς Φλωρεντίας, τῆς πόλεως τῆς Τέχνης καί τῆς Εἰρήνης, πλησίον τοῦ μεγαλοπρεποῦς Καθεδρικοῦ Ναοῦ καί τοῦ ἀριστουργήματος τοῦ Βαπτιστηρίου καί τοῦ Palazzo Pitti - μεγάλου καλλιτεχνικοῦ καί πολιτιστικοῦ θαύματος τῆς Ἀναγεννήσεως - καί ἡ ὁποία θά ἐξυπηρετήσῃ πνευματικά καί κοινωνικά τούς Ὀρθοδόξους ἡμῶν ἀδελφούς τῆς περιοχῆς αὐτῆς καί κάθε καλῆς θελήσεως ἄνθρωπον, διά τόν ὁποῖον ἐγεννήθη, ἐσταυρώθη καί ἀνέστη ὁ Σωτήρ ἡμῶν Χριστός.

Καί εἶναι ἱστορική καί μεγάλη ἡ ἡμέρα αὐτή, Θεοτίμητε καί Θεοπρόβλητε Αὐθέντα καί Δέσποτα ἡμῶν, διότι διά πρώτην φοράν, μετά ἀπό ἕξ αἰῶνας, τό εὐσεβές καί θεοφιλές ἡμῶν Γένος, διά τῆς Ἱερᾶς Μητροπόλεως Ἰταλίας καί Μελίτης, ἐκκλησιαστικῆς Ἐπαρχίας τοῦ πανσέπτου Οἰκουμενικοῦ Θρόνου, ἱδρύει ἐνορίαν καί ἔχει πρός χρῆσιν, ἐκκλησιαστικήν καί λειτουργικήν, ἐκκλησίαν, ἡ ὁποία ἔχει τήν ἰδιαιτέραν χάριν καί τήν ὑψίστην τιμήν νά δοξολογεῖται καί νά γεραίρεται σήμερον ὑπό τοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Νέας Ρώμης καί Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριάρχου κ.κ. Βαρθολομαίου, ὁ Ὁποῖος εὐλογεῖ τήν ἀρχήν τῆς ζωῆς καί τῆς δράσεως αὐτῆς καί προσεύχεται, ἐπισήμως καί μέ παρρησίαν, κατά τήν πρώτην αὐτῆς Θείαν Λειτουργίαν, χοροστατῶν καί εὐχόμενος αὐτῇ πατρικῶς.

Καί ἡ πνευματική ἀγαλλίασις καί ἡ πλήρης χαρά τῆς Ἱερᾶς Μητροπόλεως Ἰταλίας καί Μελίτης, πράγματι, τετιμημένε Πρωθιεράρχα τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας, δέν περιγράφεται, διότι δι᾿ αὐτήν εἶναι εἰς τήν οὐσίαν δύναμις καί ἐνίσχυσις ἀληθινή, θάρρος ἀκαταμάχητον, δῶρον καί βοήθεια ἀπό Θεοῦ.

Καί ἡ ἐλαχιστότης μου, μαζί μέ τόν γενναῖον καί ἡρωϊκόν κλῆρον καί τόν λαόν τοῦ Θεοῦ, τῆς Ἱερᾶς Μητροπόλεως Ἰταλίας καί Μελίτης, χαιρετίζει τήν Ὑμετέραν Θειοτάτην Παναγιότητα υἱϊκά καί ἀφοσιωμένα, μέ τόν χαρμόσυνον Πασχάλιον χαιρετισμόν “Χριστός Ἀνέστη”, εὐγνώμονες διά τήν πατρικήν εὐλογίαν καί τάς θεοπειθεῖς Αὐτῆς εὐχάς.

Εἶναι ἐπιβεβλημένον, Παναγιώτατε Πάτερ καί Δέσποτα, ὅπως ἀπευθύνω καί πρός τόν Σεβασμιώτατον Καρδινάλιον κ. Ennio Antonelli εὐγνωμόνους εὐχαριστίας, τόν ὁποῖον γνωρίζω καί ἐκτιμῶ περισσότερον ἀπό δύο δεκαετίας, πνευματικός καί πολιτισμένος Ἱεράρχης, ὁ ὁποῖος παρεχώρησε τῇ Ἱερᾷ Μητροπόλει Ἰταλίας καί Μελίτης ἐκκλησίαν καί κατοικίαν, εἰς τήν ὁποίαν κατοικεῖ ἤδη ὁ ἐφημέριος τῆς ἐνορίας ταύτης, τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰακώβου τοῦ Ἀδελφοθέου, ὁ εὔελπις κληρικός πανοσιολογιώτατος Ἀρχιμανδρίτης Νικόλαος Παπαδόπουλος, χειροτονία τῆς ταπεινότητός μου, ὁ ὁποῖος, δι᾿ εὐχῶν τῆς Ὑμετέρας Θειοτάτης Παναγιότητος ἀπό σήμερον ἀρχίζει τήν ἐκκλησιαστικήν καί ἐφημεριακήν ζωήν καί δρᾶσιν του ἐν Φλωρεντίᾳ.

Ἐπιτρέψατέ μοι, Παναγιώτατε, ὃπως χαιρετίσω ἀδελφικῶς μέ τόν Πασχάλιον χαιρετισμόν “Χριστός Ἀνέστη” τήν τιμίαν Συνοδείαν τῆς Ὑμετέρας Θειοτάτης Παναγιότητος καί εὐχαριστήσω Αὐτῇ, διότι καί πάλιν, ἐκ τοῦ πλησίον, ηὐλόγησε τήν Ἱεράν Μητρόπολιν Ἰταλίας καί Μελίτης, εὐχόμενοι ὅπως πράξῃ τό τοιοῦτον καί ἄλλας πολλάς φοράς, καί ἔφερεν, ἀπό τῆς ἱστορικῆς καί ἐνδοξοτάτης Αὐτῆς ἕδρας, τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, τά αἰώνια καί σωτήρια μηνύματα τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας: τήν ἀγάπην καί τήν εἰρήνην, τήν συναδέλφωσιν καί τήν ἑνότητα, τήν ἐλπίδα καί τόν διάλογον, ἀναγκαιότατα καί ἀπαραίτητα διά τήν εἰλικρινῆ συνέχισιν καί προώθησιν τῆς ἐργασίας πρός πραγματοποίησιν τῆς βουλῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ: ῾῾Ἳνα ἕν ὦσι”.

Εἰς πολλά ἔτη Παναγιώτατε καί Θειότατε Πάτερ καί Δέσποτα!






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Η Θεία Λειτουργία του Αγίου Ιωάννου του Χρυσοστόμου

La Divina Liturgia di San Giovanni Crisostomo

Divine Litourgy of Saint John Chrysostomos




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In memory of Costas and Christina Sivyllis, 1934-2007, Costas John Sivyllis, 1990-2020 and Lindsey Sivyllis, 1987-2020