Message of Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem for Christmas

The Father has acquiesced. The Word became flesh. And the Virgin bore the Incarnate God. The star calls. The Wise Men venerate. Shepherds admire and the universe rejoices. (Troparion of Christmas Hymns)  

The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ celebrates today a “strange and paradoxical” mystery and this it proclaims “in great joy” across the world. The Church celebrates the extraordinary event that God the Father, Creator and Ruler of the universe, acting on extreme love and compassion, recreated and reshaped man impaired by sin, in the face of His Only-Begotten Son and Logos. “But when the set time had fully come” (Galatians 4,4) during the reign of Cesar Octavian August, the Son and Word of God was born in flesh, in Bethlehem, Judea, incarnate through the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary in Nazareth, Galilee. Jesus Christ, “though in the form of God, took the form a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phl. 2, 6-7). “Made of woman, made under the law, that we might receive adoption” (Galatians 4,4) and “become children of God” (John 1, 12).

The Holy Mountain: virtual tour now online

Thanks to an expansive site launched earlier this year, Mt. Athos, the Holy Mountain, is now open to all “visitors,” whether man, woman, or child.

The site, MountAthos360°, developed over the past three years, offers a unique and breathtaking online view of life on the Holy Mountain, with sections dedicated to the twenty main monasteries as well as the main sketes and cells, and even caves of the ascetics. Undertaken with the blessings of the monks and elders, the site aims to “display Athonite monasticism and Orthodox monastic spirituality, for the glory of God.”

Ukranian parish rebuilds church after theirs seized by schismatics

Ukranian parish rebuilds church after theirs seized by schismatics
Ukranian parish rebuilds church after theirs seized by schismatics
Ukranian parish rebuilds church after theirs seized by schismatics
Ukranian parish rebuilds church after theirs seized by schismatics

On the feast-day of Apostle Andrew the First-Called, the faithful of the UOC-MP celebrated their patronal feast in a new church, for the first time after local religious community was split into factions reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists’ spokesman. The parish is located in Khodosy village of the Rivne district, in Western Ukraine.

Prince of Wales visits Dormition Cathedral of Sourozh diocese

On 13 December 2016, His Royal Highness Prince Charles paid an unofficial visit to the London Dormition Cathedral of the Sourozh diocese.

After the Divine liturgy Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh consecrated the belfry after the renovations.  The bells were consecrated by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill during his visit to Great Britain.

Heavy rain damages frescos at Georgia’s historic Gelati Monastery

Ancient frescos at Georgia’s 12th Century Gelati Monastery have been damaged by multi-day heavy rain. Reportedly, rainwater leaked through the roof of the monastery complex in Georgia’s west and damaged a portion of historic wall paintings.