As New Year’s Day 2024 approached at the Patriarchal Palace of Alexandria, joy was evident on everyone’s faces.
After the exchange of festive wishes and the rendition of traditional carols by the clergy of the Patriarchal Court, African students from the Patriarchal School of Alexandria ‘Saint Athanasios,’ and Patriarchate staff to His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa in the Private Patriarchal Office, the Great Vespers of the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and Saint Basil the Great took place. The Patriarch officiated from the throne at the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Chapel of Saints Theodores.
His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Naucratis and His Eminence Metropolitan Narcissus of Pelusium were also present. In addition, His Eminence Metropolitan Germanos of Tamiatheus, the Head of the Patriarchal School “Saint Athanasios,” Archimandrite Isaac Tsapoglou, and the other Greek and Arab clergy of the Archdiocese of the Great City of Alexandria were also present.
Also present were His Excellency Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Mr. Ioannis Pyrgakis, along with his spouse, the President of the Greek Community of Alexandria, Mr. Andreas Vafeiadis, the Captain and Association of the Greek Navy, Mr. Konstantinos Varouxis, along with his spouse, the President of the Greek Yacht Club of Alexandria, and the Association of Greek Scientists “Ptolemy A” Lilika Thlivitou, and many others also attended the feast day celebrations.
Subsequently, the Patriarch blessed the vasilopita, and cut the first piece. He then extended the invitation to official representatives to partake, a Christian custom symbolising the unity of all Egyptians in the City of Alexander.
In his address, the Primate of the Alexandrian Church highlighted the advancements in the challenging missionary work and called upon all to intensify their prayers for the peoples in need throughout Africa. He also urged for immediate cessation of war conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, where the living image of God is subjected to torture, destruction, and death – transcending race, faith, or language. Additionally, prayers were requested for the uninterrupted progress and prosperity of Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus.
His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore conveyed gratitude to his associates in the Patriarchal See, clergy, and laity. His well-wishes extended to the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria and the President of the Greek Community of Alexandria, with hopes for their continued success in their respective duties for the benefit of fellow citizens.
The Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria, His Eminence Metropolitan Narcissus, highlighted the personal struggle, gifts, dedication to duty, and the well-known virtues of generosity and love that surround the Patriarch, while he also acknowledged the permanently positive attitude of the Patriarch towards the God-given gift of life.
Source: Patriarchate of Alexandria