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The Sunday of the Myrrh-bearers at the Baloukli Monastery

On the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearers, 19 May 2024, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Patriarchal and Poly-Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, which took place, according to custom, at the Katholikon of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Baloukli Monastery, with the participation of Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne and Holy Churches of Bulgaria and Ukraine, and more specifically Their Eminences, Metropolitan Makarios of Anea, Metropolitan Theodoritos of Laodicea, Metropolitan Nicholas of Filippoupolis, Metropolitan Kyprianos of Stara Zagora, Metropolitan Eustratios of Bila Tserkva, Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey, Metropolitan Iakovos of Dorostolon, Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago and Metropolitan Theodoros of Seleucia, as well as Their Graces, Bishop Sionios of Velikia, Bishop Vissarion of Smolian and Bishop Avraamios of Boryspil.

The Holy Sermon was preached by Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, Father Vasileios Kalliakmanis, clergyman of the Holy Metropolis of Neapolis and Stavroupolis and Professor of the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

In his speech, after the Divine Liturgy, His All-Holiness referred to the Myrrh-bearing women, who were the first to hear the joyful news of the Lord’s Resurrection, while at another point he expressed his joy for the participation in the Divine Liturgy of Hierarchs from the two daughter Churches of Bulgaria and Ukraine.

“The message of the Resurrection is heard on today’s feast day “outside the walls”. This is Christ’s last command to His disciples: To go out to all the world, outside the walls of the cities, and to preach the Resurrection “everywhere”, with the Lord himself as a helper, who will confirm the word “through the following signs”.

A sign of the eternal presence of the Lord in our midst is the concelebration with brother Hierarchs from two beloved daughters of the Church of Constantinople, namely from the Autocephalous Churches of Bulgaria and Ukraine. Your presence, Venerable brothers, in the Courts of the common Mother Church is a reason for encouragement for us all, because her labours, which have been eternally bestowed and expended for the stability of her children, were not fruitless. At the same time, we are certain that for you too the pilgrimage to the Eminent and Great Church is a spiritual return to the font, which rebirthed and enlightened your people and was a decisive and beneficial turning point in their history and culture”.

Photographs: Nikos Papachristou

Concluding his address, the Patriarch expressed his satisfaction to the Overseer of the Monastery, His Grace Bishop Paisios of Xanthoupolis, and its Administrative Committee, while he particularly praised the Nuns from the Holy Monastery of the Holy Forerunner Saint John the Baptist of Akritochori who are currently ministering at the Monastery.

Prior to this, His All-Holiness was addressed by His Grace Bishop Paisios of Xanthoupolis.

Also present for the Divine Liturgy were the following Hierarchs: Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Elder Metropolitan Dimitrios of Princes’ Islands, Metropolitan Nektarios of Anthidon, Commissioner of the Holy Sepulchre in Constantinople, Metropolitan Irinaios of Myriophytos and Peristasis, Metropolitan Ilarion of Winnipeg, Metropolitan Ioakeim of Bursa, Metropolitan Constantine of Denver, clergy from Bulgaria, Greece and Ukraine, the Ambassador of Bulgaria in Turkey, His Excellency Mr. Angel Cholakov, Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in Constantinople, Mr. Roman Nedilskyi, Consul General of Ukraine, Archons of the Great Church of Christ and many faithful believers from Constantinople and pilgrims from abroad.

Immediately after, His All-Holiness conducted a Trisagion Memorial Service at the grace of his predecessor, Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios, commemorating all the Patriarchs, Hierarchs and Great Benefactors of the Nation who rest in the courtyard of the Monastery’s cemetery. After this Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made his way to the adjacent 2nd Cemetery of the Monastery where he conducted a Trisagion Memorial Service for the repose of the souls, “of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, whose names are known to the Lord”.