His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who visisted his birthplace, Imbros, attended and opened the scientific event “Imbros – Mount Athos: A lifelong relationship”, organised by the Holy Metropolis of Imbros and Tenedos and the Mount Athos Centre, on the afternoon of Monday, August 21, in the hall of the Cultural Association of Agioi Theodoroi.
In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch recalled that the past year was dedicated to Bartholomew Koutloumousianos, on the occasion of the two hundred and fifty-year anniversary since his birth. The Ecumenical Patriarch stressed that “this glorious child of our island is for us a symbol of the relations and close ties between Imbros and Mount Athos.” As the Ecumenical Patriarch said, these close ties “express an important dimension of the identity of the citizens of Imbros, which is interwoven with Mount Athos.”
He then referred to the four Athonite metochia on the island: “The metochia employed many residents who cultivated the fields. Thanks to the religious services that were celebrated there, they stimulated the religious sentiment of citizens of Imbros. Our small homeland indeed benefited from its Athonite metochia in many ways.”
He added: “It is no coincidence that even after 1943, the metochia remained in the memory of the citizens of Imbros as part of their lives. Mount Athos was and remained for them a familiar place. Our historic island was a place that had been witnessing the spirit and ethos of Mount Athos for many centuries. Thanks to the Athonite inspiration, presence and contribution, the history of Imbros began.”
Then, the Ecumenical Patriarch congratulated Metropolitan of Imbros and Tenedos, as well as the Director of the Mount Athos Center, Anastasios Douros, for the initiative of organising the scientific event.
“The Mount Athos Centre promotes the study and promotion of Mount Athos culture for twenty-three years now and highlights the contribution of Mount Athos to Orthodoxy, Christianity and humanity. Thank you, Mr. Douros, on behalf of all our compatriots,” he stressed.
“We welcome the Athonite Fathers, whose visit, along with the symbolism it carries, reminds us all of the universal importance of Mount Athos which is a blessed center of holiness, spirituality, asceticism and repentance,” he added.