On Monday, August 19, 2013, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in his native island of Imvros (Gökçeada). In his home village of Sts. Theodores, His All-Holiness inaugurated the reopening of a Greek primary school with an Aghiasmo service and with the first ringing of a bell since its closing in 1964. The newly restored and reopened school, which is also named after the village's patrons, Sts. Theodores, was granted permission to reopen by the Turkish Ministry of Education.
On Monday the 12th/25th of August 2013, a procession took place intended for the descent of the icon of Theotokos from the Dependency of Gethsemane opposite the All-holy Church of the Resurrection, to the Church of the Dormition of Theotokos in Gethsemane, wherein lies the Tomb of the Virgin Mary.
Његово Блаженство Патријарх антиохијски и свега Истока г. Јован служио је у недељу, 25. августа 2013. године, свету архијерејску Литургију у манастиру Пресвете Богородице у Сајднаји у Сирији.
From the speech of His Beatitude John X in Saydnaya, 25 August 2013
Beloved brothers and sisters: I come today to Saydnaya to meet bright faces dressed with the zeal of God and good souls dominated by the love of their fellow man and the love of the homeland. I come to Saydnaya which lies near to the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary protected by the red mantle of St. George and under the shadowing wings of the Cherubim. I come to Saydnaya spoken of in the books of history, the chronicles of travelers and the report of miracles. I come to kneel before the Virgin of Saydnaya and ask her to visit us and infuse our souls with the splendor of her Son, so that our inner man might be transfigured as coals brightened with the love of God and the homelands. I come to this monastery to seek the prayers of the monks and nuns and the supplications of the visitors. I beg you to remember John X, who knew that the monastic prayers and the prayers of the faithful knock on the door of the Divine Mercy and pour forth the streams of Divine Clemency.
On Monday the 6th/19th of August 2013, the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was celebrated on Mount Tabor in remembrance of the extraordinary and sublime event which came to pass in glory and brilliance within a luminous cloud as the Father said from the heavens: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17, 5) and in the presence of prophets Moses and Elijah – the revelation and manifestation of the divine nature of the Lord, His human nature briefly concealed before the eminent disciples Peter and James and John.
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is pleased to undertake conservation and renovation works at the Holy Monastery of John the Baptist, semi-ruined during the 1967 war, which lies in the vicinity of the Lord’s Baptismal site in the Jordan river.
Subsidies for the project have been offered with the blessings of His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, and within the extent of his powers, by the Hegoumen of Mount Sarantarion, Archimandrite Gerasimos.