WASHINGTON — Museum of the Bible was pleased to welcome His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and dignitaries from the Greek Orthodox Diocese of America, Greece, Armenia, Australia, Cyprus, Turkey and the U.S. for a special visit on Monday, Oct. 25. His All-Holiness was scheduled to visit the museum in-person, but was briefly hospitalized on Sunday, Oct. 24, and offered remarks virtually. His All-Holiness was released from the hospital on Monday. Oct. 25, and is visiting the United States through Wednesday, Nov. 3.
“The Museum of the Bible manifests the love for the words of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ and his holy prophets. These life-giving ‘words of eternal life,’ which ‘never pass away,’ are most certainly deserving of this shrine, which you have raised up to the glory of God,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I via Zoom.
“It is our hope that this museum, made possible by the magnanimous generosity of the Green family, and by the innumerable talents enlisted to create such a marvelous space, will bring about a resurgence in the reading of the holy Scripture, and the faith in our Lord that comes from it. We thank you for the gracious welcome that you have personally extended to our honorable entourage, and we invoke upon you and your families, as well as all of your co-workers here at the Museum of the Bible, the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, marvelously witnessed in the holy Scriptures.”
On Monday, Oct. 25, a delegation from the Greek Orthodox Diocese of America that included His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of America; His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America; His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel, Metropolitan Elder of Chalcedon; Fr. Panagiotis Papazafiropoulos; Fr. Eleftherios Constantine; Fr. Evagoras Constantinides and GOA staff visited the museum for a tour of the “The History of the Bible” exhibition.
The GOA delegation was joined by His Excellency Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulos of Greece, Her Excellency Ambassador Lilit Makunts of Armenia, His Excellency Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos of Australia, His Excellency Ambassador Marios Lysiotis of Cyprus, and His Excellency Ambassador Murat Mercan of Turkey, along with representatives from American University, The Catholic University of America and the Washington Theological Consortium.
The “History of the Bible” gallery includes objects on loan from the Ecumenical Patriarchate that highlight the importance of the Orthodox Church in the history of the Bible. Included in the exhibition are three manuscripts from The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Saint Nikanor (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 until Oct. 25, 2022. Also on exhibit are a handmade reproduction of a tile mosaic icon from the Patriarchal Church of St. George, Constantinople (Istanbul), and a Gospel manuscript which the Museum of the Bible restored to the Patriarchate last year. His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel offered a blessing for the permanent exhibition of Orthodox Christian cultural heritage at the museum.
Following the tour, the visiting dignitaries participated in a luncheon in the museum’s Gathering Room with invited guests, which featured remarks from Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Museum of the Bible’s board chairman Steve Green, chief executive officer Harry Hargrave, and chief curatorial officer Dr. Jeffrey Kloha.
“We are thankful His All-Holiness is feeling much better and honored that he asked a blessing on the museum virtually. We continue to pray for His All-Holiness’ health and look forward to welcoming him back to the museum to tour the rest of our exhibitions,” said Harry Hargrave, CEO of Museum of the Bible. “We are grateful to all of our distinguished guests for their presence in our galleries on Monday, and we invite them to return to experience all that the museum has to offer.”