Archbishop Elpidophoros’ Mother and Close Friends Speak to TNH

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America greets his mother, Nantia Lambriniadis as he arrives for his Enthronement at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in New York, on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America)

BOSTON – One of the most memorable and touching moments at Archbishop Elpidophoros’ Enthronement at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York on June 22, was the scene when the Archbishop entered the church and before ascending to the Archieratical Throne, he bowed and kissed his mother’s Nantima hand, and she reciprocated by kissing his while tears came to her eyes.

Nantima Lambriniadis spoke exclusively to TNH, and when asked how she felt about the unanimous election and enthronement of her son as Archbishop of America, she said “on one hand I am very happy, but on the other hand I am sorry, because I will leave and leave my son here.” She added that “but I glorify God because here he is in good hands, people here have shown him so much love and respect.”

When she was asked about the thoughts going through her mind seeing him ascend the throne as an Archbishop, she said “I was so emotional I couldn’t even speak,” and she added “it is not easy, as you understand.”

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America is welcomed by hundreds of faithful as he arrives for his Enthronement at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in New York, on Saturday, June 22, 2019.
(Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America)

Elpidophoros was a studious pupil from an early age, in school and progressing further in his education on his own. He was an excellent student, he earned scholarships, established good friendships, and pursed graduate studies, after which he was elected full time professor at the Theological School of the University of Thessaloniki. His mother told TNH Elpidophoros “he was a very good boy since he was a child.”

The National Herald also spoke with His Eminence Metropolitan Avgoustinos of Germany who supported wholeheartedly Archbishop Elpidophoros during his student years when he was pursuing graduate studies in Germany. He told TNH that “I experienced an atmosphere full of life and joy – I was so happy about his success and [attending] the enthronement of a great Archbishop. I am sure that he will write history in America. I am certain that he will care for all, and especially the children” and he added, “I am sure the nave of St. Nicholas will be ready in a few months.”

Metropolitan Gabriel of Nea Ionia and Nea Philadelphia in Athens, who at the enthronement represented the Church of Greece and His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos spoke to TNH with much reverence and honor about Archbishop Elpidophoros. They are connected through strong friendship since both were chief secretaries of Holy Synods, Elpidophoros of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Gabriel of the Church of Greece. Metropolitan Gabriel, speaking about the enthronement said that “it was a historic day for the Greek-American Community and the Church of America.” He added that “Archbishop Elpidophoros is a person whose name promises that he will offer many things to the Church in America and to the entire world of Orthodoxy. I convey to him the warm wishes of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos and I wish him from the bottom of heart to have a good and blessed Archpastorhsip. I wish him strength to unite the People in America and to move forward, bringing hope and love to all.”

Nantima Lambriniadis stands and claps as her son, Archbishop Elpidophoros, thanks her for her influence on his life during his enthronement ceremony as the new archbishop of America for the Greek Orthodox Church in the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Saturday, June 22, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Julius Motal)

Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, who had traveled to Constantinople and accompanied Archbishop Elpidophoros to the United States, told TNH that “Archbishop Elpidophoros is a good person. See how he behaves towards everybody and to former Archbishop Demetrios with honor and love? These things show noble mindedness and nobilty. It can be called simple politeness, which is something that is missing today from many.”

Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras spoke very highly about Archbishop Elpidophoros. He told TNH that “Archbishop Elpidophoros is an exceptional hierarch of the Orthodox Church, who has lived at our Ecumenical Patriarchate; he is the spiritual son of our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.” He added that “I am connected with Archbishop Elpidophoros with close personal friendship since both of us were Archimandrites. I am so happy for him and I pray to God to help him in the difficult work he assumes, which is a work for the Glory of God, the salvation of the people, and the glory of our Orthodox mother country Greece.”

Metropolitan Kirillos of Rhodes told TNH that “a new day begins for the Archdiocese of America with a person who promises so much, and we believe that the problems of the past will be overcome forever.”

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