Historic Patriarchal Liturgy and Blessing of the Waters in Asia Minor

The processions lead by Patriarch Bartholomew and Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa heading towards the seaport of Triglia for the Service of Blessing of the Waters. (Photo: Ecumenical Patriarchate –Nikos Manginas)

TRIGLIA, Turkey – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated during the Divine Liturgy held on January 19 at the St. Vasilios church in Triglia of Asia Minor, which belongs to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Bursa.

It was an historic occasion, the first time in the 97 years since the Asia Minor Catastrophe that the tradition of the blessing of the waters and the tossing of the holy cross into the sea took place in Triglia. The event was organized after the Patriarch received special permission from the local Turkish Authorities.

The celebration was scheduled in accordance with the Julian calendar and it was organized by Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa, who is also Abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Halki which houses the historic theological school. He is also professor at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

Patriarch Bartholomew was joined by co-celebrants Metropolitan Elpidophoros, Bishop Andrianos of Allikarnassos, and priests from Constantinople and Greece. The ceremonies were well attended, with many hundreds coming from Constantinople, New Triglia in Halkidiki, and Rafina in Greece. The nave of the St. Basil Church was renovated by the local Turkish Mayoral Authorities and it is used as Cultural Center.

Patriarch Bartholomew in his homily said among other things that “we glorify the merciful God who enabled us to offer the Divine Liturgy of the Epiphany and also the blessings of the waters here in historic Triglia.”

The Patriarch added that, “St. Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea, the symbol of sacrificial love for humanity and of organized philanthropy and social care, concelebrates the Liturgy with us today. The souls of our ancestors are happy today. They all are here on this celebratory day.”

The Patriarch congratulated Metropolitan Elpidophoros “for taking the initiative for the celebration. We encourage and bless his ecclesiastical, pastoral, theological, and literary work.”

When the Patriarch tossed the holy cross into the waters of Triglia, many young people from Orestiada, Volos, New Triglia, and also from Ukraine dived in the cold sea to retrieve it.


  1. So the Turks pull out Bartholomew like a trained monkey once again to falsely show how open and tolerant Turkish society is. The Orthodox Church in the city has been turned into a Turkish cultural center. There are almost no Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey. There is zero attempt to spread the Gospel in Turkey because it is forbidden. But these ass clowns will go prance around for a day to give the Turks a photo op.

    1. seems to me that the Orthodox Church in Turkey is simply a tourist attraction. Certainly the multitude of ancient churches and Greek archeological sites, provide Turkey with a nice revenue, particularly from all Greek Americans that go to Turkey to visit these sites and particularly Agia Sophia.
      Two things need to take place. One is for Greek Americans stop funding the Turkish government by refusing to travel on Turkish Airlines and also to stop holiday travels to turkey.
      Second, The Patriarchate needs to leave Istanbul, ( Constantinople ceased to exist over 500 years ago, so it is time to accept this fact), and relocate in Mount Athos or some other similar holly place where the church would not be under the control of foreign government or religion whose main goal is to destroy it.

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