CONSTANTINOPLE – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew declared recently that “Mount Athos and our Patriarchate are not separate things, they are not two Church entities independent of each other, but Mount Athos is a part, a dear and integral part, of the wider jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople.
And there is no distinction between Mount Athos and Constantinople, but the two entities work together and pull in the same direction.”
The Patriarch made a special reference to Mount Athos because of the presence of Athonite monks, and also because of his recent pilgrimage visit to Mount Athos, during which he had announced the canonization of four important ascetics of Athonite monasticism.
The Ecumenical Patriarch said that one of the Athonite monks would become Saint Ieronymos Simonopetritis and three more would be included in the list of recognized saints of the Orthodox Church.
In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, the patron saint of children and sailors, wishing that Saint Nicholas would always protect those who traveled by sea to feed their families.