The Holy Father Pope Francis met today with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew at the Papal Nuncio’s residence in Jerusalem. The two then proceeded together and conducted a public prayer service at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of our Lord’s crucifixion, death, burial, and Resurrection. The Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople both gave eloquent discourses on the need for unity, with the Patriarch giving a moving description that, (to paraphrase) no matter how much power the secular authorities think they have to shape the fortunes of man, history is ultimately and forever subject to the will of God. He spoke as well of how the reunification of the ancient Church in the East and West in communion would be truly a “resurrection from the dead.” The Holy Father prudently pointed out that divisions still remain, and that the role of the Bishop of Rome and the exercise of his “special ministry” would have to be agreed upon. This remains an incredibly hopeful event. This meeting of the heads of the Eastern and Western churches, along with the representatives of the ancient Oriental Orthodox churches, at the site of the empty tomb and together singing the praises of our Lord’s Resurrection is nothing to be sneezed at. Deo gratias!
Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Monday for the See of Constantinople, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday for the See of Antioch, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday for the See of Jerusalem, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday for the See of Alexandria, and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday for the See of Carthage; for their liberty and their salvation and for the restoration of their ancient status as pillars of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in communion with the See of Peter in Rome; for the conversion of the Jewish people and the conversion of the Muslim peoples.