The restoration work on the edicule over the Lord’s tomb has been completed according to the previously announced schedule. Earlier, His Holiness Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem stated that the tomb would open to pilgrims sometime between March 22 and 25. The iron cage built around the Holy Sepulchre in 1947 by British authorities has been removed, as the walls of the edicule have been reinforced to be self-sustaining, reports The Times of Israel. The black soot on the stone façade from years of pilgrims’ candles was also cleaned as part of the first restoration work in 200 years. “If this intervention hadn’t happened now, there is a very great risk that there could have been a collapse,” Bonnie Burnham of the World Monuments Fund, which gave the initial $1.4 million for the $4 million project, said Monday. “This is a complete transformation of the monument.”
On March 21, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians met with Archbishop Leo of Karelia and all Finland and Head of the Orthodox Church of Finland.
After visiting the Orthodox Church Center and Museum in the city of Kuopio, the Heads of the two Churches offered a joint prayer in the New Valaam monastery complex. Stressing the ancient origins of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the contribution made to the Christian family; Archbishop Leo stressed the importance of the creation of ideas and developments through joint and common efforts of the Armenian Apostolic and the Orthodox Church of Finland, though their warm and brotherly relations.
On 22nd March 2017, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, welcomed to the Conference Centre of the Patriarchal Library within the Patriarchal Mansion, the Association of Alexandrian Scientists, who were visiting the Patriarchate for the first time.
On 16th May 2017, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied byu His Eminence Narkissos Metropolitan of Accra and Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria and the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, visited Government House of the Great City of Alexandria, where he donated an elaborate bronze bust of Alexander the Great, a unique work by an artisit from Tinos, with the inxcription “Praxitelous”.
A stash of bronze coins dating to the fifth through seventh centuries has been found on the highway leading to Jerusalem in an archaeological excavation that began in June 2016. Archaeologists believe the coins may have belonged to Christians fleeing the invading Persian forces, reports Christian Today. The coins discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority were easily dated as they bear the image of the Byzantine emperors during whose reign they were made. Three periods are represented in the find: the reigns of Emperor St. Justinian (483-565), Maurice (539-602), and Phocas (547-610). Each coin depicts its respective ruler in military dress and bearing a cross.