20-24 May 2010

Patriarch Gregarios Serves the Divine Liturgy at PentecostArriving in Santiago on 20 May 2010, His Beatitude went to the Parador Hotel to prepare for meeting members of the Saint Lazarus Order, of which he is the Spiritual Protector. Accompanying His Beatitude for his stay was Archimandrite Mtanios Haddad, Patriarchal Apocrisary in Rome and Archimandrite Gabriel Ghanoum, who arrived on 21 May from Mexico, together with Deacon Naji Youssef and his family from the United States.

On the first afternoon, His Beatitude and Father Mtanios made a private visit to the Cathedral to venerate the tomb of the apostle, who reputedly evangelised Galicia and requested that after his death, his body be transported from Jerusalem to the region of his apostolic activity.

On 21 May, His Beatitude and other pilgrims were taken on a tour of the cathedral museum and roof, whence it is possible to survey the whole town which since the ninth century has grown up around the tomb.

The pilgrims were then formally welcomed by the Grand Master and Chevalier Joaquín Cayuela representing the Grand Priory of Spain at a reception in the former chapel of the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, founded on the order of the sovereign in the fifteenth century for the purpose of sheltering the pilgrims arriving from various routes by sea and land. Some forty-two heads of jurisdictions had gathered from around the world to discuss the Order's plans for its charitable work.

 

On 22 May, some members of the Order walked the final stage of the pilgrim road from Monte de Gozo before attending a Pilgrims' Mass in the Cathedral, at which His Beatitude and Melkite clergy concelebrated with the Dean of the Cathedral,  Rev. José María Díaz Fernández (in the absence of the Archbishop). The Dean in his sermon spoke admiringly of the role of the Eastern Churches and the Melkite Church, especially the late Patriarch Maximos IV, whom he met during the Second Vatican Council. His Beatitude was given the honour of putting incense into the botafumeiro swung over the heads of the congregation at the end of the Mass.

Later that day, His Beatitude with the Grand Master, Don Carlos Gereda de Borbón, Marqués de Almazán, presided over an investiture ceremony at San Martín Pinario seminary. A celebratory dinner for over four hundred members of the Order and their guests was afterwards held in the refectory of the monastery.

On Sunday, 23 May, the Feast of Pentecost, His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios, with concelebrants Fathers Mtanios and Gabriel at the altar and Deacon Naji and family leading the people's chanted responses, celebrated (in six languages) a pontifical Divine Liturgy in the Church of San Fructuoso, which was packed with members of the Saint Lazarus Order and their guests. In his role as Spiritual Protector of the Order, His Beatitude preached the following sermon to encourage members of the Order to live out their solidarity with Jerusalem in a spiritual and practical way. (See full text below.)

His Beatitude left Spain for Lebanon on 24 May at the end of this memorable and moving Jubilee Year visit to Santiago de Compostela.                                                                                                      V. C.

Link: Patriarch Gregorios III Preaches Sermon in San Fructuoso, Compostela on the Occasion of the Pilgrimage of the Order of Saint Lazarus to Santiago de Compostela


Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The perfection of the Christian life -- and I mean that life which is the only one the name of Christ is used to designate -- is that in which we participate not only by our mind and soul but in all the actions of our lives, so that our holiness may be complete, in accordance with the blessing pronounced by Paul, in our 'whole body and soul and spirit' (I Thess. 5:23), constantly guarded from all admixture with evil.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, From Glory to Glory