News and events

Patriarch of Alexandria visited Albania ( 07.11.2009 )


At Sunday, November the 1st, the faithful people and the clergy of Albania experienced an exclusive event, the common service of the Pope and the Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, HE Theodore, together with the Blessed Archbishop of Albania, HE Anastasias.

The members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Albania welcomed the Heads of Churches in the cathedral church devoted to the Holy Annunciation, and the Heads of Churches exchanged the particular messages according to the tradition, during the common celebration.

Archbishop Anastasias greeted the visit of Patriarch Theodore in the following way: “Every official visit of a Head of Orthodox Church opens a great window in the nous and in the hearts of the Orthodox believers of the Local Churches, helping them to distinguish clearly the dimensions of the Orthodox Church, in which we participate from one part to another”.

Among the other, the Archbishop has turned attention to the mystic connection between the Church of Africa and the Church of Albania, as he noticed: “…the African experience was a precious preparation for the development over the precipitous and incomprehensible roads of the post-communistic Albania, and for the restitution of the Local Church.”

The Patriarch of Alexandria and the whole Africa, one more time, accented the contribution of Archbishop Anastasias as missionary in Africa. Then, he expressed his delight of the co-celebration the service with Archbishop Anastasias: “No doubt Your Eminency, you belong to the great personalities of our time. All of your deeds are inspired by the ecumenical ideal of the Church, because your first love was the outdoors mission”, noticed Patriarch Theodore.

At the end of the Liturgy, the Heads of Churches have exchanged symbolic presents. Archbishop Anastasias gave a Shield and Chalice to the Patriarch, which symbolises the Liturgical Unity of all Heads of Churches while mentioned in the diptych of the Liturgies.

Patriarch of Alexandria, on the other hand read the Resolution of the Holy Synod of the Alexandrian Patriarchy, in which Archbishop Anastasias has been awarded with the Great Cross of Saint Marko, in gratefulness for his pastoral contribution in Africa.

Also, he gave an encolpia in form of an eagle, а Cross for the Holy Table, which has been manufactured by the monk’s brotherhood from the Saint Anthony Monastery.

In the afternoon, Patriarch and the members of the escorting delegation watched the celebration concert, prepared by the Orthodox Youth Organisation “Children of the Light”, and in the occasion of the 80th birthday of Archbishop Anastasias. The audience also watched a documentary movie about the life and deeds of Archbishop Anastasias.

At the end of this manifestation, Patriarch Theodore spoke, and deeply bemused saluted all youngsters, accenting as follows: Your Archbishop, just as Apostle Paul, never wished any gold or silver, but devoting to Christ, and showing indeed his love to Jesus”.

“When we saw the film, we have shed tears about the poor condition in which the Church of Albania was before Archbishop Anastasias came. God, through your Hierarch is giving you, and He will give you more. I realised in how big love you express your gratitude to your Archbishop, in all of your songs and dances. When I will come back to Africa, and start playing in the sounds of thousands of kettledrums of my African children, I will surely have all of you in my heart. As for many future years, when your Church will develop and grow, than you will remember the man who resurrected it.      

Patriarch Theodore wished to come back in Albania after 20 years and together with Archbishop Anastasias celebrate his 100th birthday.

Speaking to young people, Archbishop Anastasias stated: “I simply cannot find words to express my thankfulness. My heart is flooded with a deep impression, showing the word “Thank You”. From the deepness of my heart, I wish you love, joy, peace and eternal togetherness with Jesus Christ.”

The next day, Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, HE Theodore, has met the President of the Republic of Albania, the Prime Minister of the country, the President of the Albanian Parliament, the Minister of Foreign of Albania, the Mayor of Tirana and other high state officials, and with representatives of foreign embassies in Albania, as well.


Source: Romfea