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Sunday of the Samaritan Woman at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

In a bright atmosphere, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman was celebrated at the Centre of Orthodoxy, coinciding with the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Synaxis of all the Holy Archbishops and Patriarchs of Constantinople. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy, co-celebrated by His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, His Eminence Metropolitan Eirinaios of Myriophytos and Peristasis, His Eminence Metropolitan Theoleptos of Iconium, His Eminence Metropolitan Andreas of Forty Churches, His Eminence Metropolitan Ioakeim of Bursa, and His Eminence Metropolitan Theodoros of Seleucia. His Eminence Metropolitan Irenaeus of Florina, Prespa, and Eordea delivered the Holy Sermon.

Following the Dismissal, the Ecumenical Patriarch awarded the Offikion of Archon Protekdikos of the Holy Great Church of Christ to Mr. Ioannis Retsos, a distinguished lawyer, economist, and businessman from Athens. Addressing the new Archon, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew praised his success in tourism and hotel businesses and emphasised the importance of combining economic progress with social responsibility, ethical principles, and environmental respect.

The Patriarch highlighted that economic challenges cannot be resolved solely through technocratic solutions and that a viable development model must integrate fairness, solidarity, and environmental integrity. He reaffirmed the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s commitment to these principles and its role in bearing witness to the values of the Orthodox faith. The Patriarch cited Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans, reminding everyone that faith in God enables us to be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).

Present at the Divine Liturgy were Their Eminences, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Myra, Metropolitan Barnabas of Neapolis and Stavroupolis, and Metropolitan Kyrillos of Imbros and Tenedos, as well as the President of the Board of Directors of the Brotherhood of Archons “Panagia Pammakaristos,” Archon Exarch Athanasios Martinos. Also in attendance were Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Excellency Ambassador Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in Constantinople, Maxim Vdovichenko, Consul of Ukraine, Spyridon Flogaitis, Professor of Public Law at the Law School of Athens and former Minister, along with relatives and friends of the new Archon, local believers, and pilgrims from abroad.

After the Divine Liturgy, the Ecumenical Patriarch delivered a speech at the reception in the Throne Room, warmly welcoming the President of the Board of Directors and the members of the Brotherhood of Archons “Panagia Pammakaristos,” present in the historic cathedral of the Great Church, “the spiritual cradle of Orthodoxy, from which we serve the people of God, here and here the Lord.”

Earlier, Archon Athanasios Martinos spoke about the first joint Conference of Archons from around the world and their 4th International Conference in Athens, highlighting the collective commitment to supporting the Ecumenical Patriarchate and defending its rights.

At noon, the Ecumenical Patriarch attended a luncheon hosted in his honour by the President and the members of the Brotherhood of Archons “Panagia Pammakaristos” at a central hotel in Constantinople.

In the afternoon, the Patriarch attended the official graduation event for the students of the Diaspora High Schools of Constantinople and Imbros. He extended his congratulatory wishes and paternal advice to the graduates as they embark on a new chapter in their lives and presented them with souvenirs.

Photos: Nikos Papachristou / Ecumenical Patriarchate