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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits Monastery of Our Lady of All Protection in Bussy-en-Othe, France

On Friday, 26 April 2024, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, along with his honourable entourage, visited the Holy Monastery of Our Lady of All Protection in Bussy-en-Othe, France, where he officiated during the Doxology Service which took place in the Katholikon of the Monastery. The local Metropolitan, His Eminence Metropolitan Dimitrios of France, welcomed His All-Holiness to the Monastery with warm words. In His response, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed His joy in visiting this Orthodox women’s Monastery in Burgundy, which is under the spiritual care of Nun Emiliani, Abbess of this Sisterhood.

His All-Holiness referred to the history of the Monastery, its foundation on 1 July 1946, to the people who participated in its foundation, and to its testimony within the contemporary French society.

“Your community has always known how to maintain close ties with the Mother Church of Constantinople, knowing that this communion between us has enabled Orthodoxy in France to transcend the limits of national ties,” His All-Holiness said, among other things, and pointed out the great blessing of the relics of Saint Alexios of Ugine which are kept in the Monastery, who came from the Russian diaspora of Western Europe, and whom the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate included in the List of Saints of the Orthodox Church in 2004.

The Patriarch congratulated Gerontissa Emiliani for the spiritual work being carried out in the Monastery, for her faith and devotion to the Mother Church of Constantinople, and he pointed out that in a difficult time of hatred and divisions, she and the Sisterhood around her have remained steadfast in their choices, and did not renounce either their cultural origins, or the truth of the canonical tradition.

At noon His All-Holiness and His honourable entourage visited the Monastery refectory, and in the evening they departed by air from Charles de Gaulle International Airport for Constantinople, which they arrived in the early hours of Lazarus Saturday, 27 April 2024. His All- Holiness was welcomed at the airport of Constantinople by the Patriarchal Commissioner, His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Apostolos of Derkoi along with the Grand Protosyncellus Archimandrite Gregorios.