The City of Athens on Saturday offered Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew its highest distinction - the "Efkleis Athineos" or "Illustrious Athenian" award - which was presented by Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis during a ceremony at the Olympia Municipal Music Theatre "Maria Callas" attended by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos. (Photo by VASILIS REBAPIS/EUROKINISSI)
ATHENS – On Saturday, the City of Athens bestowed upon Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the highest honor, the “Efkleis Athineos” or “Illustrious Athenian” award. Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis presented the award during a ceremony held at the Olympia Municipal Music Theatre “Maria Callas.” The event was attended by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos.
This prestigious award, granted for the first time, is the result of a decision by the city’s municipal council. It recognizes individuals of outstanding character and exceptional moral values who have consistently contributed to the promotion of human rights, principles of freedom, and have played a significant role in highlighting global and Greek culture throughout the years.
During his speech, Bakoyannis emphasized the daily challenges faced by Patriarch Bartholomew in carrying out his global mission. He expressed that the award symbolized utmost respect, love, and a resolute message “that we stand prepared to protect the shining beacon of Orthodoxy and the Greek nation with unwavering determination.”
Bakoyannis further highlighted the significance of the day for Athens, as the city formally transferred ownership of the Church of St. Nicholas on Vassilisis Sofias Street to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This act solidifies the church as the official headquarters of the Patriarchate in the Greek capital, marking a historic moment.
Patriarch Bartholomew expressed gratitude to Bakoyannis and the municipal council for the prestigious award, commending their efforts in Athens, particularly in assisting vulnerable groups and children. He also appreciated the concession of the Church of St. Nicholas.
Furthermore, it was announced that Patriarch Bartholomew would lead the Sunday mass at the Church of St. Nicholas on Vassilisis Sofias Street, coinciding with the feast day of St. Constantine and Helen.
NEW YORK – The Orpheus Foundation for Greek Music and the Arts, under the auspices of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus - PSEKA, presents the concert ‘New York Sings Polys Kyriacou - ΑΠΟ ΤΗN ΚΕΡΥΝΕΙΑ ΩΣ ΤΑ ΔΙΟΔΙΑ’ on Friday June 2, 8:30 PM, at Merkin Hall at Kaufmann Music Center, 129 West 67th Street in Manhattan.
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