Patriarch of Antioch paying an irenic visit to the Polish Orthodox Church

Church of Serbia – Information Services – 20/8/16


At the invitation of the Primate of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church Sawa, His Beatitude Patriarch of Antioch and All Orient John X has started his irenic visit to this country. His Beatitude arrived to Warsaw on the 16th of August and is going to stay with this sister Church until the 22nd of August.

The high dignitary, with two Hierarchs accompanying him, was welcomed at the airport by Metropolitan Sawa and his hierarchs. Thereupon they attended a doxology rite in the Cathedral of St. Mary the Magdalene, where the Patriarch of Antioch was warmly greeted by the Primate of the Polish Church. In his response His Beatitude John X pointed out that he was grateful for every word of love and welcome, and especially for the noble sympathies towards the brothers and sisters of the Holy Church of Antioch.

The high dignitary underlined that he was bringing with him the pains of the city of Aleppo, that had been waiting for his kidnapped hierarchs John Ibrahim and Paul Jazigi for longer than three years, whereas the  international community had remained a passive observer.

After the doxology, Patriarch John, accompanied by Metropolitan Sawa, visited the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw, where he was welcomed by its Dean. There followed an academic act – Patriarch John was promoted to the rank of a Doctor of theology h. c. All the professors of the Academy, students and invitees attended this solemn academic act.

His Beatitude, John of Antioch and All the Orient, thanked the Dean and delivered an academic lecture on a theological theme. At the beginning, he said that it was for him a great honour to be present there and “to received the degree of a doctor of theology h. c. from the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw”. “This medal will be laid on the chest of the Church of Antioch”, he added.

His Beatitude was received in audience by His Excellency Andrzeja Dudy as well as by the Syrian and Lebanese   Ambassadors to Poland.

On the Thursday of 18th August, high guests paid a visit to the Archbishop of Lublin and the monastery of St. Onufrius in Jableczna and venerated the relics of saints in the monastery of Sts. Mary and Martha in Grabarca.

On the Transfiguration of the Lord, the two hierarchs celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the monastery of Grabarka, and paid visit to Hajnówce.

During his stay in Poland, His Beatitude will pay visits to Białowieży, Bielsku Podlaskim, Monastery of St. Gabriel in Zwierka (20th of August), and celebrated Divine Liturgies in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Białystok and pay an arch pastoral visit to some parishes in that diocese (21st of August).

The sister visit of the Patriarch of Antioch ends on the 22nd of August with a Divine Liturgy in the monastery of the Mother of God in Suprasl, whereupon the Primate of the Church of Antioch will take a flight back to Syria. and Polish Orthodox Church (translation of Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church)