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Ecumenical Patriarch: “There is no distinction between Mount Athos and Constantinople, but only unity and harmony”

His All-Holiness celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Nicholas Tzivaliou on its Feast Day

“Mount Athos and our Ecumenical Patriarchate are not separate things, they are not two ecclesiastical entities independent of each other, but Mount Athos is part and parcel of the beloved jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople. And there is no distinction between Mount Athos and Constantinople, but only unity and harmony,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said in his address after the Divine Liturgy, which he celebrated today, Friday, December 6, in the Church of St. Nicholas of Tzivaliou, which has been assigned to serve the Ukrainian community in Istanbul, on its Feast Day.

His All-Holiness’ mention of Mount Athos was made on the occasion of the presence of monks of Mount Athos at the celebrating church, as well as of his recent pilgrimage visit to Athos, during which, as he recalled, he had heralded, from the Church of the Protaton, the canonization among the saints of the Church of four contemporary exemplars of Mount Athos monasticism, causing great joy among the fathers at the Garden of the Blessed Mother. The Ecumenical Patriarch said that one of them, Saint Hieronymos Simonopetritis, had already been canonized, and the canonization of the others was imminent. “May it be their grace to link Mount Athos with the Mother Church of Constantinople,” he said.

In his address, His All-Holiness referred to Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, patron especially of children and sailors, wishing that those who traveled in the near and far seas for the sustenence of their family would always be under his protection. The Ecumenical Patriarch made a special reference to the virtues of simplicity and humility that distinguished the saint, as well as other saints of the Church who bore his name, such as Nicholas Planas, and also neo-martyrs of recent centuries.

Earlier, Bishop Adrianos of Halicarnassus, Supervisor of the Phanar-Kerati Gulf Region, addressed His All-Holiness addressed the Bishop of Bodrum, Hadrian, Supervisor of the Phanar-Kerati Bay District, as well as the President of the Community Commission, Elias Yofoglou, whom His All-Holiness congratulated on the work being done.

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