BLESSING OF HIS BEATITUDE THEOPHILOS III, PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM, TO VISITORS OF THE PATRIARCHATE’S NEWS GATE
To the Readers
Beloved in the Lord Children of Our Mediocrity,
The Heritage, on the one hand, of the Most Sacred Shrines, those visible evidence of the presence on earth of the incarnate and salvific Economy of the Son and Word of God, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and, on the other hand, the Ecclesiastic Community in the Holy Land, the continuation of the ancient Judeo-Christian Community, the Church of Jerusalem and of Palestine, are the pride of our Patriarchate, of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, pride which the Hagiotaphitic Brotherhood (Brotherhood of the Sepulcher) and the indigenous flock have guarded for many centuries, with sacrifices of blood, ever pouring sweat and untold amounts of money.
This Heritage of the Holy Lands of Grace which fills the pilgrims flocking from the ends of the world, with the holy spiritual springs of contrition, repentance, consciousness and love of Christ, pouring of the Holy Spirit, from the deified Flesh of Christ, this Heritage is deservedly presented to people by the Church of Jerusalem, in every way and with full vigour, towards sanctification and salvation. The Church of Jerusalem could not find more suitable a way towards this end than the presentation in the World Wide Web, with which it also hopes not only to acquaint the faithful with its largely unknown history and various struggles in the Holy Land, sanctify the senses of the spectators and the rational aspect of their soul through the vision of the Holy Shrines and the narratives about them, but also to facilitate the arrival of pilgrims to the Holy Land and of all those willing to struggle together and help the Church of Jerusalem.
This website, fruit of unselfish effort and pious toil of friends and contributors of the Most Holy Sepulcher, the first official website of the Church of Jerusalem, will continuously be enriched, God willing, with information concerning every sector of our ecclesiastic life. The “aerial” electromagnetic data of contemporary technology, though inferior to the tangible writing with ink and paper, is capable however to likewise constitute a carrier of salvific concepts that lead to the uncreated deliverance in Christ.
May the Grace and Tradition of the Holy Lands, the treasure of the Hagiotaphites, be to all a steady guide of Orthodox Faith and Life. According to the early Jerusalemite Monks, God’s Holy City of Jerusalem is “the eye and beacon of the whole world, having received the word of the Gospel in keeping with the prophetic saying, that from Sion the law shall come out, and the word of the Lord shall come out of Jerusalem” and her inhabitants are “as if they touch the truth every day with their own hands through these Venerable Landmarks, in which the mystery of the incarnation of the great God our Saviour was performed”[i]. Invoking the grace of these Venerable Lands on all of you, we bestow upon you Our Paternal wishes and Patriarchal blessings.
In the Holy City of Jerusalem, in the month of May, of the Saviour’s year 2007.
Ardently blesser in the Lord
Patriarch of Jerusalem
[i] Cyril of Skythopolis, The Life of Our Father, Hosios Savvas 57.Ed. Schwartz Editions, Kyrillos von Skythopolis, Hinrichs Verlag, Leipzig 1939, p. 154.