The Patriarchate of Jerusalem – 25/3/17

On Wednesday morning, 9th/22nd March 2017, the ceremony marking the completion of the restoration and rehabilitation of the Sacred Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre took place in front of the Sacred Edicule. This project began one year ago, by the initiative of Jerusalem Patriarchate and the agreement among the Christian Communities, the Franciscans and the Armenians; the research study and the work were undertaken by the Interdisciplinary Team of the National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A.) under the coordination of Professor Mrs. Antonia Moropoulou.

Present at this ceremony was His Excellency the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Alexis Tsipras, who had visited His Beatitude at the Patriarchate earlier that morning, Ministers of Greece, Mrs. Mika Ertegün, Commissioner of the World Monuments Fund, major and minor donators for the completion of this project, His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who had also visited His Beatitude at the Patriarchate earlier, Representatives from Mount Athos, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, Representatives from the State of Israel, such as Mr. Yacoub Salame and Cesar Marjieh, the Israeli Jerusalem Police Chief  Mr. Yoram Levi, Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Mr. Tsahi Hanekby; present were also, as invited, the majority of the Hagiotaphite Fathers, led by their Hegoumen, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos.

The ceremony began with the chanting of Paschal hymns by the choir leader of the Most Holy Church of the Resurrection Archimandrite Aristovoulos and his team and “The angel cried to her that is full of grace…” immediately after the address of  H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem (see link: ) . His Beatitude’s address was followed by the addresses of the Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Francesco Patton, the Armenian Patriarch in Jerusalem His Beatitude Nourhan, the former Custos of the Holy Land and at present the Latin Apostolic Administrator Fr. Pierre Battista Pizzaballa.

An address was given by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (to be posted shortly).

Messages were also read by the Pope’s delegate Cardinal Leonardo Sandri and the Catholicos Patriarch of Armenia H.H. Garegin.

At the end of the ceremony the invitees proceeded to the Patriarchate. There His Beatitude gave the following address (see link: and introduced the Professor of the N.T.U. and coordinator of the project Mrs. Antonia Moropoulou, for the presentation of the technical aspects of the project on screen. The presentation in English is as follows:

Consequently, His Beatitude honoured Mr. Ivan Savvidis with the Supreme Distinction of the Great Cross bearer of the Holy Sepulchre, and the owners of the Aegean Airlines Mr. Theodoros and Mr. Eutychios Vassilakis with that of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

The ceremony ended with the address of the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Alexis Tsipras.

Concluding all the above, the ceremony ended and all guests were invited to a fasting reception buffet, giving thanks to God, Who deemed us worthy to achieve the completion of such a project.

From Secretariat-General