New abbot of Mt. Athos Grigoriu Monastery enthroned

On Saturday, March 15, according to Byzantine traditions, the solemn enthronement of the new Abbot of the Mt. Athos Grigoriou Monastery Archimandrite Chrystophoros took place, reports AgionOros with the reference to

Abbots and brethren of many Athonite monasteries as well as numerous pilgrims from Greece, Cyprus, Russia, and other Orthodox countries were present at the ceremony. The Greek government was represented by secretary general of the Council of Ministers Panagiotis Baltakos.

OCF pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

OCF pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate
OCF pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate
OCF pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate
OCF pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On Saturday, March 8, 2014, at the request of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) program and with the blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, eleven American college students traveled from New York to Istanbul for a pilgrimage organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The students received matching grants from the Kulis Foundation for the trip and were led by Fr. Evagoras Constantinides, Director of Ionian Village, and Ms. Donna Elias, OCF North American Programs Manager. 

The first group baptisms of children in South Sudan

With the grace of God and the blessing of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, His Eminence Narcissus, Metropolitan of Nubia, performed the first group baptism of South Sudan children on Tuesday 25th February 2014,

This concerned children who had remained un-baptized for many years, due to the civil war in the broader region of the South. The blessing and joy were evident on the faces of the newly-baptized children. The emotion and gratitude were etched on the faces of the parents and families present, as they had been waiting for this moment for years. Nine children were baptized, ranging in age from infants to sixteen years. At the end of the Sacrament, His Eminence addressed the children, giving advice and spiritual counsel. Present at the baptism were the Consul of South Sudan Mr. Robert Ring Ring and the Chairman of the Ouaou Community Mr. Aristotelis Kikezos, as the children come from that region. 

First solemn vespers in Alexandria

On 2nd March 2014, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa officiated during the first solemn Vespers for the beginning of Great Lent at the Patriarchal Church of St Savvas in Alexandria, together with His Eminence Alexios of Carthage who is in Alexandria and His Grace Gabriel of Leontopolis, Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria together with the Clergy and many faithful. 

Prior to the dismissal, according to old tradition, His Beatitude read the forgiveness prayer for all, and exchanged the embrace of forgiveness, at the same time appropriately wishing them strength, watchfulness and repentance, and stressing is his comprehensive homily the true meaning of fasting and genuine forgiveness, mentioning examples and teachings from the holy Fathers of the desert. 

President of Republic of Srpska received high award in Moscow

On March 11, 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led the 14th annual ceremony of awarding the Patriarch Alexy II Prize of the Unity of Orthodox Nations International Public Foundation granted for “outstanding work to consolidate the unity of Orthodox nations and to promote Christian values in the life of society”.

The 2013 winners of the prize are Mr. Milorad Dodik, President of the Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Day of the Baptism of Rus’, an international public organization, Ukraine, and the Fellowship of Orthodox Youth in Poland.