CWN - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, recalled the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s historic visit to Istanbul—the first visit by a Roman Pontiff to the See of Constantinople in over a millennium.

Blessed Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras had first met in Jerusalem in January 1964. Three years later, on July 25, 1967, Pope Paul visited the Phanar (Fener), where the patriarchal cathedral is located, setting a precedent followed by subsequent popes.

Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, in turn, visited the Vatican in October 1967.

“Although their initiatives have not had a great impact on the media, they remain revolutionary milestones for the development of Christianity,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew wrote in an essay published on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano. He added that the meetings “remind us of the enduring power of charity and dialogue.”

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Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

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

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)