WASHINGTON — Museum of the Bible has the distinct honor of welcoming His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople for a special visit on Monday, Oct. 25. His All-Holiness will be visiting the United States from Saturday, Oct. 23, through Wednesday, Nov. 3.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will tour the “The History of the Bible” exhibit, which houses hundreds of rare Bible artifacts embraced by many communities of different religious traditions and an extensive collection of Bible translations from around the world. He will offer a blessing of an updated permanent gallery, “The History of the Bible,” which will include objects on loan from the Ecumenical Patriarchate that highlight the importance of the Orthodox Church in the history of the Bible. Following the blessing and tour, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will join invited guests for a luncheon in the Museum’s Gathering Room.
“We are honored and humbled to host Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as a guest at the museum,” said Harry Hargrave, chief executive officer of Museum of the Bible. “His efforts for religious freedom and human rights have made our world a better place and should serve as an example to us all. We are grateful for the Greek Orthodox Church’s generosity in loaning us new sacred artifacts to share with our visitors.”
The luncheon will feature remarks by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Museum of the Bible’s board chairman Steve Green, chief executive officer Harry Hargrave, and chief curatorial officer Dr. Jeffrey Kloha.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Since Nov. 2, 1991, His All-Holiness has tirelessly pursued the vision of his message of spiritual revival, Orthodox unity, Christian reconciliation, interfaith tolerance and coexistence, protection of the environment, and a world united in peace, justice, solidarity and love.
Through dialogue and visitations, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has greatly advanced Orthodox relations with Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, and others. He has taken a highly active role in post-communist Eastern Europe by strengthening contacts and relations with various Orthodox national churches and through direct visits to several predominantly Orthodox countries. Known worldwide as the "Green Patriarch," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has taken the lead among all religious leaders in his concern for active stewardship of the earth. He has initiated seminars and dialogues to discuss the need for the mobilization of moral and spiritual forces to achieve harmony between humanity and nature.
With his Apostolic See in Constantinople (Istanbul), Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue between the Christian and Islamic worlds. He has worked persistently to advance reconciliation among the world’s three Abrahamic religious communities in the Middle East and around the world.
“Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world,” said Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, an expert on global Orthodox Christianity and human rights. “His commitments to advancing religious freedom and human rights, to promoting ecological sustainability, and to combatting modern slavery, number him among the world's foremost apostles of love, peace and reconciliation for humanity.”
Included in the exhibition are three manuscripts from The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Saint Nikanoras (Transformation of the Savior) of Zavorda (Greece): an 11th-century psalter, a 12th-century Gospel lectionary and a 12th-century lectionary of Acts and the Epistles, which will be on display in the “History of the Bible” exhibit until Oct. 25, 2022. Also on exhibit will be a handmade reproduction of a tile mosaic icon from the Patriarchal Church of St. George, Istanbul, and a Gospel manuscript which the museum restored to the Patriarchate last year.