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Patriarch of Alexandria was proclaimed Honorary Citizen of Kalamata

In a special ceremony held on Friday, 2 February 2024, at the Kalamata Dance Hall, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria and All Africa was conferred the title of Honorary Citizen of the Municipality of Kalamata, following a unanimous decision of the Municipal Council.

The Mayor, Mr. Athanasios Vassilopoulos, expressed, “We are honoured to welcome the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa to our city, marking a significant moment in the historical journey of the Church of Christ through the centuries.

The Municipal Council unanimously voted and proclaimed the Patriarch Honorary Citizen of Kalamata, expressing with its unanimity our common understanding of his important and beneficial contribution to the Church and Orthodoxy, but also our heartfelt gratitude for his great missionary, humanitarian, and social work.”

Subsequently, Mr. Anastasios Iliopoulos, the President of the Municipal Council of Kalamata, announced the Municipal Council’s decision, proclaiming the Patriarch of Alexandria as an Honorary Citizen. This esteemed recognition was extended in acknowledgment of his noteworthy missionary and social endeavors, along with his significant contributions to Orthodoxy.

In his reply, the Patriarch of Alexandria said: “I am delighted to be among you because you, Mayor, and the City Council of the capital of Messinia, the city of Kalamata, have chosen to honour me with the title of Honorary Citizen of the Municipality of Kalamata. In the morning, we festively celebrated the feast of the Presentation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, celebrating the highest mystery of the Church, the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist. And now, we are all gathered in the jewel of the city, the Central Stage of the Kalamata Dance Hall, to officially bestow upon me the great honour of being named an honorary citizen of your city.

“I extend my deepest gratitude for this supreme honour, which, let me state, does not belong to me, the humble Patriarch Theodore, but belongs to the Church that the Lord promised me to serve for a long time.”

At the conclusion of the award portion of the ceremony, the Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra of Kalamata and the School of Byzantine Music of the Holy Metropolis of Messinia performed for His Beatitude and the other guests in attendance.