On Thursday 27th November 2008, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa received in the Patriarchal See His Excellency the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Mr Theodoros Kassimis, with whom he had a private meeting and held private talks.

     Immediately afterwards His Beatitude welcomed Mrs Marianna Vardinogiannis, Good Will Ambassadress for UNESCO, with whom he also held private talks in his Patriarchal Office.Afterwards, in the Patriarchal Throne room, His Beatitude conferred the Office of Great Lady of the Throne of St mark, on Mrs Vardinogiannis.During his address, the Venerable Primate of the Church of the Alexandrines, spoke of the importance of the work done by mrs Vardinogiannis as a Good Will Ambassadress for UNESCO, as Chairlady of the “Elpida” Association and the Vardinogiannis Institute, for the children of the world. He also mentioned the long friendship he has had with the Vardinogiannis family.

     In her reply, the Great Lady expressed her admiration for the humanistic and missionary work of the ancient Patriarchate on the African Continent, praised His Beatitude and assured him that she will always support him for the good of the suffering people, especially the children, of Africa.

     Following this modest ceremony, which was attended by the Elder Metropolitan Dionysios of Leontopolis, Vicar General of the Patriarchate, His Grace Gabriel, Bishop of Mareotis, Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria, His Excellency the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Mr Theodoros Kassimis, His Excellency the Former Minister Mr Andreas Zaimis, the Consol General of Greece in Alexandria Mr George Diakofotakis, the Chairman of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria Mr Haralambos Katsimbris, the Megas Archon Logothetis of the Patriarchate Mr Spyridon Kamalakis, the Chairman of the Office Bearerd of the Throne Professor Theodoros Panagopoulos, representaitves of Hellenic Societies, African students of the Patriarchal Academy of Alexandria who sang hymns. The dignitaries were then taken on a conducted tour of the Patriarchal Mansion and the Patriarchal Library.