ISTANBUL, Turkey – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians around the world, welcomed His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church, at Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul.   

"Your Holiness and most beloved brother in Christ, we welcome you with great joy, honour and love. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord", stressed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as he greeted Pope Benedict XVI.

This warm greeting of the two Primates of the Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, and the realization of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Istanbul, brings a message of love and peace for millions of Christians around the world.

It is significant that this is the first official visit of the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church to Istanbul in the past 27 years.  The previous visit was in 1979 when Patriarch Demetrios welcomed Pope John Paul II. This visit also constitutes a historical continuity of previous meetings of Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI, who proclaimed the lifting of the anathemas (excommunications), which accompanied the great Schism of the Church and divided Christianity in 1054.  

The Ecumenical Patriarch was accompanied at the airport by Archbishop Demetrios of America and Metropolitan John of Pergamon, the Co-President of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

 (Note: For more information or to view the services, please log on to www.patriarchate.org)


Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his older brother: "I want to be free from care and not to work but to worship God without interruption." And he took his robe off, and went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked without opening it: "Who is it?" He replied: "It's John, your brother." The brother said: "John has become an angel and is not among people anymore." Then he begged and said: "It's me!" But his brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: "If you are a human being, you have to work again in order to live." Then John repented, saying: "Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong."

Sayings of the Desert Fathers