Warsaw, September 20, 2018
His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria Theodoros II was festively greeted by representatives of the Polish Orthodox Church yesterday as he landed in Warsaw for a five-day fraternal visit to the Polish Orthodox Church.
The patriarch is accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Savvas of Nouvias and an Archimandrite Sylvester, reports the site of the Polish Orthodox Church.
The Alexandrian delegation was greeted at the Warsaw airport by representatives of His Eminence Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland and then escorted to the Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene in the capital city, where Met. Sawa greeted them in front of the cathedral. They arrived to the ringing of the cathedral bells and were gifted with flowers and the traditional bread and salt.
Pat. Theodoros then served a short doxology inside the cathedral, with a number of Polish faithful and clergy joining in the prayers that were offered for the faithful of both the Polish and Alexandrian Churches, for the successful development of Orthodox missions in Africa, and for world peace.
Met. Sawa then offered words of greeting to Pat. Theodoros and his entourage, stressing the great joy of having a brother primate in their midst. He noted the rich heritage of historical Alexandria, its famous school and library, and the great desert fathers who are a treasure for the entire Orthodox Church. He wished his guests a pleasant and fruitful stay in the country, with rich and unforgettable encounters with Polish spirituality. Met. Sawa also presented the patriarch with an icon of St. Mary Magdalene, the patroness of the cathedral.
In turn, Pat. Theodoros thanked Met. Sawa for his warm brotherly greeting, noting that his visit takes place in a spirit of meekness of his predecessors on the Alexandrian throne and of the holy hermits Sts. Anthony and Pachomius, and with the blessing of the holy apostle and Evangelist Mark, who founded the Alexandrian See.
Following the speeches, Pat. Theodoros was awarded Hands of Mercy 2018 award from the Eleos Orthodox Metropolitan Mercy Center for his invaluable contribution to the development of Orthodox missions in Africa.
The Alexandrian primate then gave his blessing and commemorative icons to the faithful gathered in the cathedral, after which he paid a visit to the Orthodox Cultural Center and its chapel of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and the Museum of the Warsaw Orthodox Metropolis.
During the remainder of the trip, Pat. Theodoros will visit the city of Warsaw, including the presidential palace, and holy monasteries of the Polish Church, and he will preside over a parish feast day in Bielsk Podlaski and the transfer of the relics of the holy youth Gabriel in Białystok. He will also celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the cathedral in Lublin, and visit the State Museum of Majdanek.
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