His Beatitude, Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem has arrived on Friday in Bucharest, in his first visit to Romania and immediately after landing has addressed a benediction to the Romanian people.
“From the Holy City of Jerusalem we bring blessings to the Romanian people”, said Patriarch Theophilos III. The Patriarch expressed his satisfaction for the possibility of being present “on these lands where saints have lived and blessed the Romanian people”. Theophilos III said that he is very glad to have been able to bring a part of the wood of the Holy Cross, on which Our Saviour was crucified, “because, as you well know, Christian Orthodox peoples know no borders. They are united through their Christian Orthodox faith”, added the Patriarch.Metropolitan Andrei of Cluj, Maramures and Salaj expressed in his welcome speech at Henri Coanda Airport, his joy of having the Patriarch of Jerusalem as a guest in the year in which the Romanians have celebrated Holy Martyr Constantin Brancoveanu and his sons, a religious figure with important ties to the Jerusalem Patriarchate.The Metropolitan mentioned that “for Romanian pilgrims, the Holy City of Jerusalem and the holy places have a special place in their soul and whenever they go there they return with their soul full of joy”.Teophilos III is heading a delegation of the Jerusalem Patriarchy on a brotherly visit to the Romanian Patriarchy over Oct. 24-27 on an invitation of Patriarch Daniel.The top Orthodox cleric is bringing to the Romanian capital a piece of the Precious Holy Cross wood framed in an icon of Saint Emperors Constantine and Helen. The high guests are to take part in a range of events organized by the Romanian Patriarchy and the Bucharest Archbishopric on the occasion of the annual pilgrimage celebrating Saint Demetrius the New, the Guardian of Bucharest on October 27; the saint’s Holy Relics are kept in the Patriarchal Cathedral located in central Bucharest.On Sunday, the feast of Saint Demetrius, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and his delegation participated in the Mass from the Church “Saint George the New”, founded by Constantin Brancoveanu. This church was consecrated in June 1707 by the Patriarch of Jerusalem Hrisant Nottara. Today, the day of St. Demetrios the New, the Holy Mass will be celebrated jointly by Patriarch Theophilus and Patriarch Daniel, at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
HB Theophilos III-Doctor Honoris Causa of Bucharest University
The University of Bucharest conferred, on Saturday, the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, during a ceremony that took place in the Constantin Stoicescu hall of the Palace of the Law School. According to the Laudatio, Patriarch Theophilos had an important contribution to reforming the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and is still a president of the Orthodox family within the MECC, reports Agerpres.
“The efforts of His Beatitude are focused upon promoting peace and understanding between peoples, efforts solidified by the participation in numerous international conferences such as the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land or The C-1 World Dialogue. The University of Bucharest is especially thankful to His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos for his support to the development of the Byzantine Studies domain of the institution. The impressive Library of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem hosts rare books and manuscripts, that are carefully and professionally tended to, representing a real treasure for a true researcher. For all this warm support, the Senate of the University of Bucharest is more than honored to grant the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Bucharest to His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Holy Zion”, the Laudatio shows.After the ceremony, His Beatitude delivered a speech on Jerusalem Patriarchate’s Mission today in spreading the Orthodox Church peace message in the Middle East.
Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem decorated by President Traian Basescu
According to a release of the Presidential Administration, the President welcomed Saturday at Cotroceni Palace, His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine, and His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. He had recalled the meeting with HB Theophilos III held on the sidelines of the state visit to Israel in January, expressing his appreciation for the efforts that Jerusalem Patriarchate makes in order to foster dialogue between faiths in Holy places. Basescu thanked Patriarch Theophilus III “for his opening that supported the restoration of full ecclesial communion between the Romanian Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem,” the source said.In turn, Patriarch of Jerusalem thanked for hospitality and for Romanian community’s contribution in the Holy Land, whether pilgrims or people settled in Jerusalem, according to a press release of the Presidential Administration. The president talked about the fact that cultural pluralism and religious diversity is a beneficial experience if supported in the sense of knowledge and tolerance and mutual respect.His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, thanked President Basescu for how he has encouraged all these years the cooperation between state institutions and the Church, adding that the visit of HB Theophilos III in Romania means a lot to believers from our country, confirming thus the deep historical and spiritual ties that bind us with the Holy places, reads the statement. “In conclusion, the three senior officials stressed the many implications of the crisis in the Middle East, a dramatic reality that forces us to reflect on the contribution that the Church can have to promote a culture of peace and solidarity in the dialogue with government institutions and society “, the release said. On this occasion, President Traian Basescu decorated HB Patriarch Theophilus III with National Order “Star of Romania” with the rank of Grand Cross.