May 29, 2013
On May 28, 2013, upon his arrival at the Valamo Monastery, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine, who is on an official visit to the Russian Orthodox Church, and his delegation visited the Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration.
The monastery brethren met His Beatitude to the sound of bells.
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem venerated the shrines of the cathedral: the relics of Ss Sergius and Herman the Miracle-workers of Valamo and founders of the monastery, the Valamo Icon of Our Lady, and the relics of St Antipas of Valamo.
In response to the warm words of welcome expressed by Bishop Pankraty of Troitsk, abbot of the monastery, His Holiness Theophilos said that it was the grace of the Holy Sepulchre that brought him and his delegation to the Russian land sanctified by the blood of thousands of Russian martyrs.
‘The visit to the Valamo Monastery is of great importance for us. We have come first of all as monks, as pastors and the Chief Pastor of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the lands around it. So we are here among our brothers and we convey the grace and blessing of the Lord’s Sepulchre so that they may strengthen and enlighten us all’, he said. Patriarch Theophilos reminded the Valamo brethren that ‘in hard times, monastic centers have always been a salvific refuge for people, and in the time of various heresies, they preserved our faith in purity’.
Then the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem blessed the faithful and went up to the upper Church of the Transfiguration to venerate the patronal icon of the Saviour and the icon of Our Lady of Smolensk. His delegation sang in Greek the Troparion of the Transfiguration and the Litany of Fervent Supplication for peace and prosperity to all the Orthodox believers in the world.