Compiled by Archimandrite Markos Theodosi
On 3rd June 2015, the Patriarch flew to Manakara where he was welcomed by the district commissioner and crowds of people. The Alexandrian Primate visited the offices of the district commissioner where he offered spiritual words to the people of the area and told them to have patience for a better future in the difficult circumstances under which they live, as the people live on what nature produces, in some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world.
At the Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity in Manakara, the children and the packed crowds welcomed the Patriarch with a doxology and gave His Beatitude traditional handmade gifts.
The day ended with the inauguration of the first Orthodox University in Madagascar, under the auspices of the Holy Metropolis. The Alexandrian Primate conducted the Service of Sanctification. Present were the Representative of the Madagascar Parliament, the Mayor of Manakara, the District Commissioner, the local Metropolitan, clergy from the Metropolis and the people of Manakara. His Beatitude spoke with affection and love to the people saying that this facility will be for the children of Manakara, who are the future of the country. He also expressed the wish that more philanthropic institutions would be established for the benefit of this very poor country. Addressing Fr Apostolos he prayed that a monastic centre of care and contribution to the people would grow there too. There were tear-filled eyes when the National Anthem of Greece was heard and the Greek flag raised.
The University is a donation by Archimandrite Kyriakos Tsolakis from Karditsa and the Patriarch spoke of him with gratitude. Manakara is a city on the Indian Ocean coast.