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Patriarch of Alexandria on floods: Our homeland Greece is in our heart

In the Greek community of Cairo, in the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. He lifted the Cross with his own hands, giving hope to the hearts of all people present.

“My blessed children, on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, I am celebrating the Divine Liturgy here in the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen. I was thinking yesterday, my children, that this Holy Cross was located between Saint Constantine and Saint Helen. It is therefore obvious that everything happens by the Grace of God and this gives me the desire to be among you to perform this beautiful ceremony of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Inside this Cross there is a piece of the Holy Wood of Calvary. Greek Christians gave it to me in Odessa. A priest there made this Cross and put in it this precious piece. So I donated this Cross to Cairo, since we have another piece of the Holy Wood in Alexandria.”

The Patriarch then referred to Greece: “Our homeland Greece is in our heart with grief, because the wildfires tormented it and cuased such terrible natural disasters. My eyes are crying, and my heart is moved when I see thousands of people in the mud who will remain homeless during the winter. Also, hundreds of coffins, my children, arrived here in Egypt from our neighboring Libya carrying Egyptians who drowned in the raging waters of the natural disaster. But all this, my children, is not punishment, because God does not punish. These are signs that remind us that when we do not respect God’s creation, Nature itself takes revenge on us. We mourn the dead in our homeland, Greece: In Trikala, in Larissa, in the Thessalian plain, which once fed all of Greece.”

The Patriarch then raised the serious matter that surely haunts all of us; our inertia. “How many conferences, my children, will be held on these climate changes until measures are taken to stop us from humiliating nature?” the Patriarch asked.

Finally, he referred to his visit to the island of Crete; The Holy Archdiocese of Crete and the entire island, his birthplace, honoured and celebrated with him the 50th anniversary of his pastoral ministry on Sunday, August 13, at the Holy Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Agarathos.


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