The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George holds a special place in the hearts of many Lebanese because of its unique location overlooking Parliament Square right in the heart of Beirut’s city center. The Cathedral of Saint George is the Mother Cathedral of Beirut’s Greek Orthodox community. It’s the “Thronos”, the throne of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut and its dependencies. The Cathedral is the oldest church in the city of Beirut, and one of the oldest in the region. The first Christian temple ever built in the very location goes back to the mid sixth century AD and it’s closely associated with Beirut’s famous Law School.
On March 14, 2012, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with a delegation of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem at the Patriarchal chambers of the Church of Christ the Saviour. The delegation included Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Archbishop Theophylaktos of Jordan and Archimandrite Stephanos (Dispirakis), representative of the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Participating in the meeting were also Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, a DECR vice-chairman, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations, and Fr. Stephan (Igumnov), a DECR staff member.
Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, Theodoros II, inaugurated the first Orthodox School in Sierra Leone, a country rising from the recent ashes of civil war. The School has been built in the courtyard of the Cathedral of St. Eleftherios, which is located in the country’s capital city, Freetown.
The Orthodox primate was warmly welcomed and applauded by 1,800 students that are currently visiting the School. During the inauguration ceremony, Patriarch Theodoros II thanked the Brotherhood of Orthodox External Mission of Thessaloniki, which undertook the project of building both the Cathedral and the School.
On Sunday, March 4, 2012, His All-Holiness celebrated the Divine Liturgy marking the Sunday of Orthodoxy at the Patriarchal Church of St. George. Among those in attendance were Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, Secretary General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the General Consul of Greece in Istanbul, the Hon. Nikolaos Matthioudakis, and Greek Consuls Victor Malingoudis and Athanasios Astrakhan.
On 11 March 2012, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church delivered a sermon in the chapel of Saint Gregory the Enlightener of the Patriarchal Residence in which he interpreted the significance of the evangelical pericope of the 2nd Sunday of the Lent or of Saint Gregory Palama which presents the Healing of the Paralysed man of Capernaum.
Thus, His Beatitude mentioned that the evangelical pericope read today was an urge to help the sick and to solidarity with one’s neighbour.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also pointed out the need to heal the soul because the diseases are a consequence of our sins.