20-24 May 2010

Patriarch Gregarios Serves the Divine Liturgy at PentecostArriving in Santiago on 20 May 2010, His Beatitude went to the Parador Hotel to prepare for meeting members of the Saint Lazarus Order, of which he is the Spiritual Protector. Accompanying His Beatitude for his stay was Archimandrite Mtanios Haddad, Patriarchal Apocrisary in Rome and Archimandrite Gabriel Ghanoum, who arrived on 21 May from Mexico, together with Deacon Naji Youssef and his family from the United States.

On the first afternoon, His Beatitude and Father Mtanios made a private visit to the Cathedral to venerate the tomb of the apostle, who reputedly evangelised Galicia and requested that after his death, his body be transported from Jerusalem to the region of his apostolic activity.

On 21 May, His Beatitude and other pilgrims were taken on a tour of the cathedral museum and roof, whence it is possible to survey the whole town which since the ninth century has grown up around the tomb.

The pilgrims were then formally welcomed by the Grand Master and Chevalier Joaquín Cayuela representing the Grand Priory of Spain at a reception in the former chapel of the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, founded on the order of the sovereign in the fifteenth century for the purpose of sheltering the pilgrims arriving from various routes by sea and land. Some forty-two heads of jurisdictions had gathered from around the world to discuss the Order's plans for its charitable work.

 

On 22 May, some members of the Order walked the final stage of the pilgrim road from Monte de Gozo before attending a Pilgrims' Mass in the Cathedral, at which His Beatitude and Melkite clergy concelebrated with the Dean of the Cathedral,  Rev. José María Díaz Fernández (in the absence of the Archbishop). The Dean in his sermon spoke admiringly of the role of the Eastern Churches and the Melkite Church, especially the late Patriarch Maximos IV, whom he met during the Second Vatican Council. His Beatitude was given the honour of putting incense into the botafumeiro swung over the heads of the congregation at the end of the Mass.

Later that day, His Beatitude with the Grand Master, Don Carlos Gereda de Borbón, Marqués de Almazán, presided over an investiture ceremony at San Martín Pinario seminary. A celebratory dinner for over four hundred members of the Order and their guests was afterwards held in the refectory of the monastery.

On Sunday, 23 May, the Feast of Pentecost, His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios, with concelebrants Fathers Mtanios and Gabriel at the altar and Deacon Naji and family leading the people's chanted responses, celebrated (in six languages) a pontifical Divine Liturgy in the Church of San Fructuoso, which was packed with members of the Saint Lazarus Order and their guests. In his role as Spiritual Protector of the Order, His Beatitude preached the following sermon to encourage members of the Order to live out their solidarity with Jerusalem in a spiritual and practical way. (See full text below.)

His Beatitude left Spain for Lebanon on 24 May at the end of this memorable and moving Jubilee Year visit to Santiago de Compostela.                                                                                                      V. C.

Link: Patriarch Gregorios III Preaches Sermon in San Fructuoso, Compostela on the Occasion of the Pilgrimage of the Order of Saint Lazarus to Santiago de Compostela


Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

What purposelessness, oh the deceit of life; truly in vain does each man vex himself, and truly blessed and thrice-blessed are those who have left everything for the Lord, that they may attain the good things announced in the Gospels. For what profit will it be for a man to enjoy the whole world, but lose his soul, to which the whole universe is not equivalent? All the splendor of man is like the blossom of grass. For the grass departs and the blossom dies, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever.

St. Nicon "Repent Ye"