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The event of the Non-Governmental Organization “Romiosini” of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem that was held on Tuesday May 10th 2011 at the Ceremonial Hall of Athens University was conducted with great success.

The theme of the event was the presentation of: a. the reprint of the book “History of the Church of Jerusalem” by the late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Chrysostomos Papadopoulos and b. “The land of Baptism in Jordan River” by the Professor of Byzantine and Post Byzantine Literature and Paleography of University of Athens Mr. F. Dimitrakopoulos.

The works were presented by the Professor of Byzantine, Post-Byzantine Literature and Paleography of Athens University Mr. Ioannis Polemis.

The opening of the event was called by His Eminence Metropolitan of Kapitoliada Isichios on behalf of His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III who could not attend due to extra-ordinary official activities at the Holy Land. His Eminence after expressing his sincere thanks by reading the Patriarchal letters of His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III to Mr. Fotios Dimitrakopoulos, Mr. Anastasios Giannakopoulos, owner of the “3E Ektipotiki” and Mr. Alexios Apostolopoulos, Consulting Manager of the Book-binding company General Pack SA he then spoke the words of His Beatitude to those who are the great benefactors of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. “His Beatitude, as much as the Patriarchate cordially thank the Administrator of the Non-Governmental Organization “Romiosini” Mr. Peter Kyriakidis for his overall help and support to the Patriarchate and for assuming sponsorship of this event at the University of Athens and for the publication of the two reputable books. He also thanks the Website General Manager of the Patriarchate Mr. Christos Nikolaou and Mrs. Aikaterini Diamantopoulou for the overall supervision of the republication of the valuable work of the “History of the Church of Jerusalem” by His Late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece and thanks them deeply”. Continuing His Eminence spoke from his heart saying characteristically: We are waiting for you all at the Holy city of Jerusalem, the city of God, which is your city. The capital of Great Romiosini. We will wait for you there so that you see on your own and experience that we are truly a handful of Roum monks presided over by His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III. We have been the ones who have continued for 2,000 years, we have been the guardians of the Most Holy Pilgrimages. We wait for you with great love because especially when we see the Professors of the Universities at the Holy Land of Jerusalem contributing to the scientific, literary work of the Patriarchate we rejoice from the bottom of our hearts we see tangibly your help so that we continue our struggle. Everyone who studies the historic book of the memorable Archbishop of Athens Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, Father of Holy Sepulcher will understand the History of the Church of Jerusalem, and all the suffering of the Holy Fathers for 2000 years. An elder Father of the Holy Sepulcher stated characteristically: “Greece was enslaved for four hundred years, Romiosini has never been enslaved and the Most Holy Sepulcher has never been conquered by other races or religions” You have our wishes and the blessings from the Life-giving and the Most Holy Sepulcher and the Holy Calvary , the Holy Bethlehem, and all the Most Holy Pilgrimages which we have had and we have God’s blessing as well as the special privilege to be the ones who continue Orthodoxy and Romiosini.

Thank you very much”.

Afterwards the Administrator of N.G.O “Romiosini” Mr. Petros Kyriakidis greeted this event with the following words: “ Your Eminence Archbishop of Kapitoliada f. Isichie, Holy fathers, Mr. Ambassador of Ukraine, Professors, ladies and gentlemen, with great pleasure we announce that the yearly effort for the republication of the book “History of the Church of Jerusalem” by the Late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Chrysostomos Papadopoulos was completed as well as the publication of the book “The place of Baptism in Jordan River” by Professor Fotios Dimitrakopoulos. I am not a specialist to comment on these editions, this is the work of the appropriate individuals. I would simply like to welcome the event of these publications and to thank wholeheartedly those who kindly and selflessly contributed to the realization of these editions. Regarding the book “History of the Church of Jerusalem” I cordially thank Colonel George Valkanos, Mr. Anastasios Giannakopoulos, owner of the “3E Ektipotiki” and Mr. Alexios Apostolopoulos, Consulting Manager of the Book-binding company General Pack SA and Mr. Aggelos Gazetas, Mrs. Eleni Peraki, Mrs. Katia Davelopoulou, as well as the Secretariats of N.G.O. “Romiosini” and the Management of the Website of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Regarding the book “The place of Baptism in Jordan River” we cordially thank the Greek orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem which attended to this publication as well as Professor Fotios Dimitrakopoulos”. Among others, he mentioned characteristically: “This publication contributes to our acceptance of the reality of the historic face of Jesus Christ. Because if Jesus Christ was baptized in Jordan River, then that means that historically the face of Jesus Christ existed.

Thank you very much”.

Continuing the Professor and President of the Department of Byzantine Literature of Athens University Mr. Ioannis Polemis presented the work with the title” The place of Baptism in Jordan River” written by the distinguished Professor of Byzantine, Post-Byzantine Literature and Paleography of the University of Athens, Mr. Fotios Dimitrakopoulos, with the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III. Among others Mr. Polemis said “The aesthetic and voluminous script presents with scientific accuracy and every detail all that is related to one of the Most Holy Shrines of Christianity, the place of Baptism located at the exact place on which walked by so much Joshua arriving at the Promise Land as the Holy Prophets Helias and Elissaios. It constitutes a monumental script of Christianity and Hellenism. It is attention worthy that the book is published in English as well. As the venerable Patriarch emphasizes in his letter which precedes the publication, the English translation makes this adoption approachable to the foreign researchers as well who will in this way have an indispensable tool for the research not only of the History of the Mother of Churches but also for the whole tormented territory of the Holy Land. Since the years of the Emperor Saint Constantine, the Equal to the Apostles and his most venerable, mother Most Holy Eleni, the founder of the Byzantine Romiosini numerous Monasteries and other Pilgrimages had been built, which were aiming at serving the Pilgrims that overwhelmed the Holy Land already from the IV century. Fundamental is the study for the Monastery of the Holy Forerunner and the place of Baptism by the memorable Kleopas Kikilidis who cited in his relevant book all the sources concerning the Holy Shrine not only the Greek but also the ones in Latin translation. Professor Dimitrakopoulos thoroughly checked all the sections, corrected parts of the publication, and updated the publication with newer bibliography Greek and international. The book contains all the sources with documented comments which enlighten all the aspects of the texts and guide the reader”.Mr. Polemis continued characteristically: “ Although they are cited objectively , they cause chills of emotions to the reader who realizes through these details the agonizing struggle of the ancient Patriarchate to keep the torch of Orthodoxy and Romiosini at the our ancestral territories in Palestine lit because the Holy Land has been, is and will also be a part of the Byzantine Romiosini for ever. At the very end of Hellenism, a lung of Romiosini and Byzantium keeps on breathing. We owe graces to the elder Fathers of the Holy Sepulcher and to Its venerable and most worthy Primate His Holy Beatitude our Father Theophilos who holds in his hands the living-fire of Hellenism and Orthodoxy, a part of the tradition of our Nation a part that is of Romiosini. He had the providence to give it to us so that we rejoice assigning to the most appropriate person Professor Fotios Dimitrakopoulos the writing of this book which I had the honor to present tonight”.

Afterwards the professor of the Byzantine, Post Byzantine Literature and Paleography Athens University Mr. Fotios Dimitrakopoulos presented the book “History of the Church of Jerusalem” by the late Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Chrysostomos Papadopoulos. The reprinting of the book was realized after a proposal made by His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III to the Management of the official Website of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the N.G.O. “Romiosini”. Among others, Mr. Dimitrakopoulos mentioned: “The book was republished in this rich most beautiful edition from Ektipotiki 3E and the Book-binding company of Mr. Apostolopoulos. The history of the Church of Jerusalem was divided by Chrysostomos Papadopoulos in three major periods, the ancient period from 33 to 638 AD, which is the Arabic conquest, the middle period from 638 to 1517 covering the Ottomans and the new period from 1517 to 1910 on which he writes and publishes his book. In this book he managed to present through the sequence of events the causes of all these as well as the results , all the names and the activities of the persons who acted there during this period. In Palestine, the Churches and the Monasteries of the Patriarchate, the ceremonies, the completely spiritual motion, reference to all the Patriarchs of Jerusalem to the great Monks all this succession appears vividly as well as the established at the Church of the Resurrection Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher. Chrysostomos Papadopoulos cites excerpts from literary texts, history and other content. Chrysostomos Papadopoulos seeks for the relevant news from the Arab chronographers of the era and other parallel sources on whose basis he has made this part of his writing work an important project of particular scientific value and significance. In the deluged chaos of the Arab occupation, he succeeds in proving that from 683 to 1571 not only was not the ancient Church of Jerusalem eliminated but also managed through the plagues of the times to maintain the feeling of Romiosini. Papadopoulos illustrates the internal and external situation of the Church of Jerusalem and the indescribable mishaps of the Patriarchs and the Monks, destructions and reconstructions of the Church of the Resurrection. The writer illustrates with clarity the internal life as well as the theological and the spiritual motion establishing this book as a literary monument. He highlights the struggle of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher for the Pilgrimages of the Holy Land”. Concluding he pointed out: “It is something completely remarkable for someone to watch how Romiosini has remained and remains alive at the Holy Land”.

The event was honored by several guests from the University of Athens and the Academic Community, Members of the N.G.O. “Romiosini”, while attended the Ambassador of Ukraine Mr. Volodymyr Shkurov, the Vice-Rector of Athens University Mr. Antonios Koutselinis, the General Secretary of Athens University Mr. Panagiotis Kontos, the Emeritus Professor of History Emmanuel Mikrogiannakis, the Professor of Philosophy Constantine Niarchos, the Deputy Professor of the Turkish and Contemporary Asian Studies Mrs. Eleni Kondyli Basoukou, Professors of the Department of Literature Mr. Andrew Voskos, Mr. Constantine Paidas, Mrs. Theodora Antonopoulou and Mr. Antonios Panagiotou, the Professor of the Theological School Mr. Nikolaos Olympiou, Professor Spyridon Tsitsigos and Professor Vassilios Gaitanis.

The event was covered by Television Channel 10, Radio Station Flash 96, and Internet television Intv.gr, being present its owner Mr. George Arvaniti, the Ecclesiastical News Agency Amen.gr, its owner Mr. Nikolaos Papachristos being present and News Agency ierovima.gr, its owner Mr. Constantine Zaphiriou being present.

N.G.O. “Romiosini” Secretariat

 (translated from the original document in Greek by Mrs. Irini Valasi)