His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa was today honoured with the highest honourary distinction the Gold Medal of Athens.

     It was a unanimous decision of the Executive Council of Athens, said the Mayor of Athens Mr. Nikitas Kaklamanis, with which the first municipality of the country wishes to honour the contribution of the Alexandrian Primate to the promotion and strengthening of Orthodoxy and the great missionary effort on the African Continent.

     “Your work is very important”, said the Mayor of Athens when addressing the Primate of the Ancient Patriarchate, announcing that the municipality of Athens has already organized some missionary aid due to the Christmas holidays and it would be sent on behalf of the Municipality of Athens to suffering areas of Africa, where missionary work is being done by the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

     His Beatitude expressed his gratitude for the great honour, saying that this honour would give him even more strength for his efforts: “I thank you, Mr Mayor, for honouring me from the city of Athens with this medal. It will give me great strength, because soon when I return to Alexandria, I will celebrate Christmas with the few Greeks still there, living in Egypt, and I will again begin my missionary work”.

     “In these difficult times I will know that my faithful and good friend Nikitas Kaklamanis, the Mayor of Athens, together with the executive Council, will be with me. This will give me strength, will give me courage to continue as another Odysseus, because Ithaca is in heaven as well as on earth”, he ended.

     In ending, he invited the Mayor of Athens to be present at the inauguration of the Sacristy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria which will be realized next year.