MOUNT ATHOS – His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France visited Mt. Athos where he officiated at Theophany Services celebrated according to the Julian calendar on Saturday January at the Monastery of Pantokratoros. Metropolitan Emmanuel was assisted by his newly-ordained auxiliary Bishop Maximos of Melitini, as well as by Abbot Gabriel and many priest-monks from the Pantokratoros Monastery and other monasteries as well.
The vigil, an all-night Service, began on Friday evening January 18 and ended on Saturday morning January 19, around 8,30 AM. A luncheon followed.
On Sunday Metropolitan Emmanuel visited the Monastery of Xenofontos and officiated at the Divine Liturgy on the feast of St. John the Forerunner on the date given by the old calendar.
Metropolitan Barnabas of Neapolis from Thessaloniki and also Bishop Maximos of Melitini concelebrated together with Abbots Alexios and Gabriel and many priest-monks of the Mt. Athos monasteries.
Metropolitan Emmanuel was warmly welcomed on Mt. Athos by the monastics. Emmanuel is one of the closest coworkers and confidants of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and he serves as his representative on many ecclesiastical missions. He was instrumental in the recent granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.