Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Visits Chios
Leadership 100 members and Archons, far left, James Pantelidis, third from left, John Psaras,  and second from right, George Pantelidis with Stavros Haviaras, Archon and President of Chian Federation, second from left, and Leadership 100 member Peter Pantelidis, far right.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew traveled to the Aegean Island of Chios from September 11-14, 2015 at the invitation of His Eminence Metropolitan Markos of Chios, Psara & Oinouses, and the local authorities. He was formally welcomed at the municipal square by Mayor Manolis Vournous, local government and Church representatives and numerous citizens.

Several Archons and Leadership 100 members, many of whom originate from the island, joined the trip and received the blessings of His All Holiness and His Eminence Metropolitan Markos. Among them were Chris Stratakis, John & Helen Psaras, Markos Marinakis, Stavros Haviaras, George Pantelidis, James Pantelidis and Peter Pantelidis.

A welcoming dinner was offered in honor of His All Holiness by Angeliki Frangos and her family at their home near Kardamyla. Soon after his arrival, Patriarch Bartholomew presided over a Doxology at the Metropolitan Church of Saints Menas, Victor and Vincent.

On his way to the historic Cathedral, His All Holiness, accompanied by Metropolitan Markos, met refugee families at the temporary settlement at the Municipal Garden of Chios and symbolically offered them an aid package from the Clothing Bank of the Holy Metropolis of Chios, Psara & Oinouses.

Accompanied by the caretaker Prime Minister of Greece, Vasiliki Thanou and Metropolitan Markos, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew planted a mastic tree at the remote village of Vessa devastated by the summer 2012 fires and unveiled a statue of his predecessor, Ecumenical Patriarch Constantine V, (Valiadis), a native son of Vessa. Earlier that day, His All Holiness presided over a Trisagion Service at Kallimasia for his predecessors Ecumenical Patriarchs Joachim II and Joachim IV who hailed from that village.

During his 4-day stay, His All Holiness bestowed the Europa Nostra 2015 Award upon Mayor Vournous for the conservation of "Antouaniko Mansion" and inaugurated the Art Exhibition of Konstantinos Parthenis at the "Maria Tsakos" Foundation - International
Center of Maritime Research and Tradition.

In his second visit to Chios since 1997, Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Saints of Chios commemorated on the first Sunday of September at the Metropolitan Cathedral and officiated on the last day of his visit at the Divine Liturgy for the Elevation of the Cross at the the Holy Cross Church of Kardamyla.

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