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

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism 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 truth 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)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let us go forward with the heart completely attentive and the soul fully conscious. For if attentiveness and prayer are daily joined together, they become like Elias' fire-bearing chariot, raising us to heaven. What do I mean? A spiritual heaven, with sun, moon and stars, is formed in the blessed heart of one who has reach a state of watchfulness, or who strives to attain it.

St. Philotheus of Sinai