The Service of the Salutations to our Most Highly-Favoured Virgin, was served according to tradition in the Metropolitan Church of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Holy Metropolis of Memphis in Heliopolis, Cairo by His Beatitude Theodoros II Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, concelebrated with the local Bishop Metropolitan Nicodemus.
In his homily His Beatitude analyzed words from the verses of the Salutations, emphasizing the great blessing that the Land of the Nile had in hosting our Lord with the Theotokos and St Joseph.
He thanked those present, His Excellency Mr. Nikolaos Papageorgiou, Ambassador of Greece and Her Excellency Ms. Polly Ioannou, Ambassador of Cyprus to God- walked Egypt.
He made a special mention of the youth of the parish who warmly welcomed him, stressing that he is very moved by their presence and their spiritual progress; My children, I am proud of you and
I bless you, you are the hope of tomorrow and our spiritual pride. He thanked Metropolitan Nikodimos of Memphis for his entire ministry in the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and for the completion of 35 years since his graduation from their common spiritual school, the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School and presented him with a commemorative medal depicting Saint Nektarios.
He also gave a commemorative gift to Archimandrite. Michael Zaki Chief Secretary of the Metropolis and Secretary of the Patriarchal Vicariate of Cairo.
During the 3rd Sunday of Lent, the Alexandrian Primate officiated at the service of Orthros and subsequently presided over the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy concelebrating with the Metropolitans Nicholas of Ermopolis, Patriarchal Vicar to the Arabic speaking flock and Nicodemus of Memphis, Patriarchal Vicar of Cairo. Before the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, the litany and the elevation of the Holy and Life-giving Cross took place for the blessing, sanctification and strengthening for the continuation of the spiritual struggle of Holy and Great Lent of all Christians.
His Beatitude pointed out the importance of the Holy Cross in the life of every Christian and that patience is what helps each of us to lift our personal cross. He prayed with heartache that the grieving parents, spouses, children and families of the victims of the Tempe train accident that shocked the whole world, would receive strength from the Cross of Christ to lift their own cross with patience. Our children and all those who passed away in the accident have become the fragrant flowers that adorn the sweetest Paradise. He asked for everyone prayers for his upcoming missionary journey to the Holy Metropolis of Katanga, in the blessed land of Congo.
Her Excellency the Ambassador of Cyprus Ms. Poly Ioannou, the Chargé Affairesof the Greek Embassy Ms. Maria Kehri, the Consul General of Greece Ms. Despina Hasirtzoglou, the representative of the Hellenic Community of Cairo Ms. Chrysanthi Skoufaridou, the president of the Arab-speaking Communities of Egypt, Mr. Claude Nakaas and all the faithful in Church, received from his hands the flowers from the Cross.
From the Patriarchal Committee of Cairo
Photos Vasileios Poularikas,