On Saturday morning, 20 June/3 July 2021, a Naval Delegation of the Republic of Cyprus, under Commander Mr George Papakleovoulos visited the Patriarchate as they are in Israel for the maintenance of the ship ‘Commodore Andreas Ioannidis’ at the port of Haifa.
The team was received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers and spoke to them for the long-term spiritual bond of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem with the Church of Cyprus through the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, the latter being the founder of the Church of Cyprus. His Beatitude also referred to the Pastoral relations due to the incoming pilgrims from Cyprus. i
Due to this relationship between the two Churches, Hagiotaphite Fathers from Cyprus served the Patriarchate and excelled in their ministry, such as the memorable Metropolitans Epiphanios of the Jordan, Arkadios of Ashkelon and later of Skythopolils, and Gregory of Tiberias, who also were renovators of the All-holy Shrines.
After these words, His Beatitude blessed this visit and wished the Commander of the ship and his colleagues the success of their visit, the safe return to their country and the preservation of its integrity.
His Beatitude offered Mr Papakleovoulos an icon of the Theotokos and the Sacred Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre and an icon of the Theotokos to each of the twenty crew members of the Delegation, while the Commander offered His Beatitude the coat of arms of the ship of ‘open sea – Commodore Andreas Ioannidis’.
Accepting His Beatitude’s blessing, the members of the Delegation went to venerate the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
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