The Ecumenical Patriarch met with the local Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in Panormos

29.06.2022, 10:08
The Ecumenical Patriarch met with the local Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in Panormos - фото 1
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on Sunday, June 26, 2022, paid a pastoral visit to the Diocese of the historic Marmara Sea port of Panormos, where he met with the local Ukrainian- and Russian-speaking Orthodox faithful.

Source: Orthodoxtimes

The Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Divine Liturgy, which was held in a specially modified area of a local hotel, and following a relevant permit issued by local authorities.

In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his joy and emotion for the opportunity to meet “face to face” with the children of the Mother Church who live in Panormos.

“We have come, with our honorable entourage, to join our prayers to God and our Savior Jesus Christ, to give us all health, strength, prosperity, and every blessing. We are with you to pray together and beg the benevolent Lord to end the unjust war in Ukraine, which is spreading pain and death. So that the God of love and peace may illuminate those responsible, so that peace, reconciliation, and justice may return to this long-suffering country.

When the Divine Liturgy is performed, the heavens open, and everything is filled with the light of the Resurrection. They glorify God with all of us and the souls of the old inhabitants of Panormos, who for centuries maintained and cultivated the sacred traditions of Orthodoxy and peacefully shared its life, joys, and sorrows with the other inhabitants of the region.

The power of the Church is spiritual. It is the strength of a long tradition, a great civilization that changed the world and is still hope for the future. We must all strive to save this precious heritage. It must, at all costs, not be lost to the soul of the new generation, not fade away, the sensation of our spiritual culture and its high values.

Wherever we are, far from our homeland, if we keep this cultural legacy untouched within us, then we have a homeland, we have an identity, we have an eternal destination.”

The Patriarch thanked Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria, who, with the blessing and encouragement of the Ecumenical Patriarch, took all necessary steps to enable the performance of the sacred service for the first time for the Orthodox who live and work in the region.

“To us, the visit to the sanctified soils of Asia Minor always provokes intense experiences. Today, our joy is special, because we communicate for the first time with you. We warmly thank the Metropolitan of Selyvria for his contribution to the organization of this Synaxis.

We praise the name of the Lord because today we are all together around the altar. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, under whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction these Provinces are under, whose jurisdiction you live and work, here in the parts of Asia Minor, Cappadocia, Pontus, Eastern Thrace, and not only, obviously includes in its flock all of you, all of its Orthodox children regardless of ethnic origin.

We stand by your side; we support your struggle to save your religious identity. We have devout clergy, who speak your language, always ready to serve you.

With these feelings, we express once again our spiritual joy for this meeting in the beautiful Panormos. We thank the state authorities for granting the relevant permission for today’s sacred service and we invite you to pray for the Great Church, in order to carry out its holy mission, for the salvation of all of us, and for the peace of the universe.

Then, a luncheon followed, which was blessed by the Ecumenical Patriarch.