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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiates at the Vespers Service for Saint Sebastian the Great Martyr

On Sunday afternoon, 17 December 2023, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated at the Vespers service of the feast of Saint Sebastian the Great Martyr, at the Church of Saint Demetrios Sarmasikiou.

Many Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate attended the service; His Eminence Metropolitan Paisios of Leros, Kalimnos and Astypalaia and His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, His Grace Bishop Stefanos of Stratonikia, Consul General of Ukraine in Constantinople, Mr. Roman Nedilskyi, and many believers from Constantinople and pilgrims from abroad.

The holy sermon was preached by Deacon Ecumenios Amanatidis, codifier of the Holy Synod.

Following the Vespers service, the Ecumenical Patriarch performed a Trisagion memorial service for the repose of the soul of the late Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Panagia Tatarna, Archimandrite Dositheos (Kanellos), who always visited Constantinople every year on that day.

Then, in his homily, His All-Holiness expressed his emotion for being in the old Church of the Holy Archdiocese of Constantinople, and warmly thanked Bishop Adrianos of Halicarnassus, Supervisor of the Phanar, and the Ephorate Committee of the Community under the leadership of Loxantra Dimopoulou. He also thanked them for their warm wishes and the flowers they offered him on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his election as Bishop.

He also expressed his Patriarchal gratitude and congratulatory wishes for the renovation works carried out in the Church. Then, he thanked the members of the Ukrainian-speaking Community of Constantinople, on behalf of which flowers were offered to the Ecumenical Patriarch for his anniversary.

At the end of his homily, he addressed the Anglican Bishop, Christopher Hill, in English and University Professors Norman Doe and Mark Hill KC, whom he then received at the Phanar. The professors presented him with the book entitled “Legal Thought and Eastern Orthodox Christianity: The Addresses of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I”, which they prepared in collaboration with Grand Ecclesiarch Archimandrite Aetios, Director of the Private Patriarchal Office. The preface is written by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou.