27-30 May 2011

As Spiritual Protector of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, H.B. Patriarch Gregorios III was invited to Bratislava, Slovakia (27-30 May 2011.)

On 27 May he was welcomed by the Mayor of Bratislava, Dr. Milan Ftáčnik. He then gave a talk: the Greek Catholic Church and Peace. The future is meeting, trusting and building bridges in a divided world.

At 5: 30p.m. the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Bishop Peter Rusnák of the Greek Catholic Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Bratislava, with a Vigil for postulants to the Order of St. Lazarus. His Beatitude presided from the throne.

On 28 May, at 5p.m. the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Martin by His Beatitude, together with Bishop Peter Rusnák, Bishop Milan Chautur of Košice and some twenty priests, during which the Ceremonial Investiture of the Order took place for Knights and Dames of the recently inaugurated Grand Bailiwick of Slovakia headed by Chev. Ing. Zdenek Tomčík, the Grand Priory of Hungary, the Grand Priory of Germany, and the Grand Bailiwick of the Czech Republic.

This was followed by a Gala Dinner in the Carlton Hotel.

On Sunday, 29 May, His Beatitude baptized the child Stella Török, daughter of the Chancellor for the Slovak Jurisdiction, Chev. Norbert Török.

At 10: 30 a.m., His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, with its Bishop Peter Rusnák concelebrating.

On 30 May, His Beatitude left Slovakia for Lebanon.


Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.