CONSTANTINOPLE – Pope Francis sent a part of the Holy Relics of Apostle Peter, founder of the Church of Rome, to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
In the context of a visit to Rome of an official delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Pope Francis of Rome took the initiative to offer the Church of Constantinople an ornate reliquary.
His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presides at the Throne at the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the 12 Apostles at the Ferikoy neighborhood of Şişli. During the Service the Patriarch venerated the sacred relics of the Apostle St Peter, which were offered by His Holiness Pope Francis to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Posted by Ecumenical Patriarchate on Sunday, June 30, 2019
The relics, which were kept in the Papal Chapel, were handed over by Pope Francis to Archbishop Job of Telmessos, head of the Patriarchal Delegation, Bishop Maximos of Melitene auxiliary Bishop at the Metropolis of France, and Deacon Vosporios Magafas, Codex Writer of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The official reception of the Holy Relics of St. Peter the Apostle in Constantinople took place on Sunday, June 30, the day when the Church celebrates the Synaxis of the Holy Twelve Apostles, at the nave of the Ferikioi neighborhood of Constantinople, where His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated at the Divine Liturgy.
Patriarch Bartholomew in his sermon said that “Pope Francis made this huge brotherly and historic gesture to give us from the Papal chapel of Paul the Sixth, some small pieces of the Holy relic of Apostle Peter founder of the Church of Rome, which I venerated a while ago, and I was very touched. It was a brave and bold initiative on behalf of the Pope towards the Church of Constantinople, for which we express to him our great gratitude.”
The Patriarch also made reference to the relations between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople, to the dialogue of love that followed the meeting of Pope Paul the Sixth and Patriarch Athenagoras in 1965, and the lifting of the anathemas in 1965, as well as to the Theological Dialogue that is taking place between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church.