ISTANBUL, Turkey – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians around the world, welcomed His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church, at Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul.   

"Your Holiness and most beloved brother in Christ, we welcome you with great joy, honour and love. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord", stressed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as he greeted Pope Benedict XVI.

This warm greeting of the two Primates of the Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, and the realization of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Istanbul, brings a message of love and peace for millions of Christians around the world.

It is significant that this is the first official visit of the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church to Istanbul in the past 27 years.  The previous visit was in 1979 when Patriarch Demetrios welcomed Pope John Paul II. This visit also constitutes a historical continuity of previous meetings of Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI, who proclaimed the lifting of the anathemas (excommunications), which accompanied the great Schism of the Church and divided Christianity in 1054.  

The Ecumenical Patriarch was accompanied at the airport by Archbishop Demetrios of America and Metropolitan John of Pergamon, the Co-President of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

 (Note: For more information or to view the services, please log on to www.patriarchate.org)


Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of the masses and the false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning, let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the All-seeing God not to expose us to temptations, since the Lord has said: 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians