His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros
Remarks at the Repatriation Celebratory Luncheon
Château Nico Lazaridi
September 29, 2022
Your Eminence, Metropolitan Panteleimon of Xanthi,
Right Reverend Abbess Geronitissa Antonini of Panagia Eikosiphoinissa Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery,
Dear Friend, Mr. Steve Green, Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Museum of the Bible,
Dr. Jeff and Ms. Susan Kloha, Chief Curator, and Dr. Brian Hyland,
Associate Curator of Medieval Manuscripts of the Museum of the Bible,
Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Advisory Council, Museum of the Bible,
Our beloved and distinguished host, Frederico Lazaridis,
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We are gathered for this celebratory luncheon, because today is a day of great joy for all. Only yesterday, we were in the Queen of Cities, Constantinople with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Today, we find ourselves in Greece, at the home of the Manuscript whose journey has been a long one.
In so many ways, I feel that you, Steve Green, and your compatriots at the Museum of the Bible: Dr. Jeff Kloha, Dr. Brian Hyland, and Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, have served this text of the New Testament like Good Samaritans.
You see, this Gospel fell in among thieves, whose only desire was to profit from it. Yet, the Green Family and the Museum of the Bible not only cared for this precious text – protecting it and conserving it (pouring in spiritual and academic ‘wine and oil’), you also made sure that it returned home, as to the Inn.
Unlike so many others who have treated such treasures with willful ignorance, ‘passing by,’ as it were, you have chosen to go out of you way to ensure its restoration, journeying to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to this very Institution of Panagia Eikosiphoinissa to fulfill a responsibility that you assumed out of love and out of duty.
Therefore, with a heart filled with gratitude, I ask you all to offer a toast – with cups filled with the wonders of our inimitable host, Château Nico Lazaridi – to the health, spiritual prosperity, and long life of the Green Family and all the members of the Museum of the Bible.
Unto many years!