On 24th and 25th April 2010, the Thronal Feast of the Church of Alexandria commemorating its Saint Apostle and Evangelist Mark, Enlightener, first Bishop and Custrodian, took place in great splendour.
On the eve of the feast, Great Vespers was conducted by His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, together with Their Eminences Elder Kallinicos of Pilousion, Makarios of Kenya, Seraphim of Johannesburg and Pretoria, Dimitrios of Irinopolis, Ioakeim of Zambia, Gregory of Cameroon, His Grace Nikodimos of Nitria Patriarchal Vicar in Cairo, and His Grace Gennadios of Nilopolis, Chancellor of the Holy Synod.
On the next day, 26th April, His Beatitude conducted the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Alexandria, together with the above named Hierarchs. The homily was preached by His Grace Gennadios of Nilopolis and the hymns were chanted by the distinguished Megas Protopsaltis of the Great Church of Christ Mr. Harilaos Taliadoros, assisted by Megas Protopsaltis of the ancient Patriarchate Mr. Gregory Papaemmanuel, Musicologist.
Prior to the end of the Liturgy His Beatitude awarded Patriarchal Offices to eight distinguished personalities. He awarded the Office of Archon Protekdikos to the Honourable Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Mr. George Diakofotakis, the Office of Archon Skevofylax to the Rector of the University of Pireaus Professor George Economou, the Office of Archon Dikaiofylax to the Vice Rector of the University of Athens Mr. Ioannis Karakostas, the Office of Archon Ekdikos to the Honorary Chairman of the State Council Mr. George Panayiotopoulos, the Office of Archon Ieromnimon to University Professor and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Rizarios Seminary Mr. Nicholas Houlis, the Office of Archon Ipomimniskon to Professor Theodoros Dardavesis, the Office of Archon Hartoularios to professor Vasilios Karabatakis and the office of Archon Maestro to Professor Pano Lazaratos.
A festive gathering then took place in the Throne Room, where His Beatitude expressed grateful thanks to the members of the Brotherhood of the Officers of the Throne “Agios Markos”, “who are always there to assist our missionary efforts”, as he said characteristically, and then awarded the Highest Commander of the Order of St Savvas to His Eminence Seraphim, Metropolitan of Johannesburg and Pretoria, for his more than ten years of hierarchal service in South Africa and to His Eminence Archbishop Fvosinove of Italy, President of the Urbaniana Pontifical University in Rome Ambrosio Spreafico, for the excellent cooperation and successful carrying out of the International scholarly which was realised together with the Missionary Community of St Egidius of the Roman Catholic Church on 24th April 2010 in the Conference Hall of the Patriarchal Library in Alexandria on the topic “St Mark, the Apostle of Christianity in Egypt”. He then also thanked Mr. Apostolos Trifyllis, Director of the Patriarchal Library and those that serve there Messrs. Antonios Balaskas and Eleftherios Dokousis. He also awarded the Cross 1st Degree of St Mark to His Highness the Prince of Beaufort-Spontin in Austria.
Gifts were then given by the Chairman of the Brotherhood of Office Bearers Mr. Panagopoulos, the Archon Mega Logothetis Mr. Kamalakis and the new office bearers to His Beatitude. Note that the brotherhood, according to tradition, honoured the Archon Refendarios Mr. Anestis Arnopoulos, a businessman from the Cameroon, for his multifaceted contribution towards the Church and Hellenism.
At noon the Chairman and the Brotherhood of Office Bearers of the Throne hosted an official lunch in honour of His Beatitude, the Hierarchs and members of the Patriarchal Court at the Hellenic Naval Club in Alexandria.
Present at the festive and Liturgical functions of the Thronal Feast of the ancient patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, were His Eminence Archbishop Ambrosios Spreafico of Fvosinove, President of the Urbaniana Pontifical university in Rome, the Honourable Consul General of Greece in Alexandria and Archon Protekdikos Mr. George Diakofotakis, representatives of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria, Hellenic Societies, Institutions and Organizations of the Great City, the entire Greek community and many pilgrims from Greece, Cyprus and other countries.
That same night, there was a musical function presented in the gardens of the patriarchal Mansion, under the panoramic view of the lit building, by the tenor Professor Pano Lazaratos from Athens.