GR US

Archbishop Elpidophoros Issues Encyclical on the Feast of the Holy Cross

The National Herald

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was enthroned as the seventh Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Saturday June 22, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan. (Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej)


NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America issued an encyclical on the occasion of the Universal Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the name day of the School of Theology in Boston. The text follows:

“The Cross is the guardian of the whole world!

The Cross is the beauty of the Church!

The Cross is the dominion of kings!

The Cross is the strength of the faithful! The Cross is the glory of the angels and the wounding of the demons!

(From the exaposteilarion of the Universal Exaltation)

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America,

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today we glory in Cross of the Lord, raising it on high in the Feast of Its Universal Exaltation. Truly, this is a marvel; for the love of God, which moved His Only-Begotten Son to willingly ascend such a cruel instrument of torture and death, utterly transforms it into the sign of victory over death. Today the Cross is lifted high as a Ladder unto Heaven, by which we may ascend through the same love that allowed the nails to be driven into the hands and feet of the most-pure Body of our Savior. He was affixed to the Cross and hung there as the fruit of immortality, ‘like a cluster of grapes full of life’ (From the Lauds of Matins).

Therefore, my beloved Christians, with such a view of the All-Holy Cross of the Lord, we are invited today to think as well of our beloved Theological School and Hellenic College. Today we are called to hold up this precious institution of our Holy Archdiocese in prayer, in honor, and in the spirit of helping. We all know how the School has struggled for years to achieve stability and security. And I tell you this: Holy Cross and Hellenic College will only be preserved for generations of clergy yet to come, as the ‘Holy Hill’ upon which it rests if it becomes a more and more the Hill of Golgotha – a place of sacrifice and love.

In this moment, when we remember the Cross of the Lord, Its absolute universality for all time and in every place, let us commit to Its power in accordance with His word: ‘And I, if I be exalted from the earth, I shall draw all people to myself’ (John 12:32). Let us embrace that power and transform our Scholi with the same spirit of sacrifice, generosity, and love”.