Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis (1928- ), First Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (EP)
On Wednesday, 28 May, Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis of America (EP) and his official delegation concluded their official visit to the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) by visiting two of the most famous monasteries in Moscow. The evening before their departure, the archbishop and his staff were received by Mayor Yuri Luzhkov of Moscow, who has served in the post since his appointment in June 1992. The state reception was at the mayor’s official residence, a 200-year-old building located just a short walk from the Kremlin. Vice Mayor Valery Vinogradov welcomed Archbishop Demetrios and introduced him and his entourage to the mayor. Then, Mayor Luzhkov, accompanied by his staff and journalists, led his guests to the ceremonial hall for the formal welcome, refreshments, and a discussion. It is worth noting that the hall is dominated by a huge icon of St George the all-Victorious (the patron saint of Moscow) and examples of Classical Greek sculpture. In the dialogue that followed, both the mayor and the archbishop commented on the importance of the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, a project in which the mayor was deeply involved. Mayor Luzhkov gave Archbishop Demetrios the gift of a commemorative crystal bowl with the likeness of the Cathedral, and the archbishop reciprocated with a gift of a commemorative sliver plate from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (EP).
The following day, before they departed Moscow, the archbishop and his assistants were received at the Danilovsky and Donskoy Monasteries, two of the most important in Moscow. The Danilovsky Monastir, or St Daniel Monastery, is the oldest monastic house in Moscow. The archbishop was met there by its superior, Archimandrite Aleksei, and he was given a tour of the monastery complex (the headquarters of the MP: editor’s note). After the visit, the delegation went to the Donskoy Monastery, which houses the relics of Patriarch St Tikhon of Moscow the New Martyr, who was the Orthodox primate of North America in the early 1900s. The archbishop, and those with him, accompanied by clergy of the MP, was greeted by Bishop Aleksandr of Mitrof (?) and the Abbot of the monastery, and members of the brotherhood. Archbishop Demetrios was given a gift of flowers. The archbishop was escorted into the main church, where a molieben of thanksgiving was served before the relics of St Tikhon of Moscow. Following the service, the archbishop was given a tour of the famous Donskoy Monastery Cemetery, which includes the tombs of 19th century Pontian Greeks. He was also shown the surviving marble high reliefs from the original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which was dynamited by the communists under the orders of Kaganovich in 1931. After the tour of the monastery was over, the archbishop was accompanied to the airport by Bishop Aleksandr and representatives of the MP.
29 May 2008
Worldwide Faith News
I shall content myself with saying that the upcoming Archpastoral Council of the MP, to be held in June, has the keynote theme of “unity”. Hmm…