Patriarch Celebrates 100th Epiphany in Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs, Fla. -- Two years and thousands of hours of work by parishioners of St. Nicholas Cathedral came to fruition January 6 with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Epiphany celebration in the community coinciding with the first visit of an Ecumenical Patriarch.
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Hundreds Welcome Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Tarpon Springs to Preside at Centennial Celebration of Epiphany and Saint Nicholas Cathedral

Tarpon Springs, FL - Tense excitement exploded into a large roar of welcome and fluttering of Greek and Patriarchal Flags as the plane of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians, touched down at Clearwater/St. Petersburg International Airport at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 4.
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Address of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Youth - January 5

First of all, may I say that it is my paternal prayer that our All-Good God may bless this New Year of 2006, so that it may yield an abundance of virtue and knowledge, an abundance that you shall gain throughout your lives, in your families, your schools and your Churches.
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Address of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Young Children - January 5

Today you have made me, your spiritual father, very happy. My happiness comes from being with you, seeing your smiles and hearing your voices. I have come from far away, from our Holy Mother Church across the seas in Constantinople, to bring you a special blessing at this special time of the year.
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Address of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Vasilopeta Service for the Benefactors of the Visit

Today, the Holy Mother and Great Church of Christ proudly honors some of Her most worthy children, whose generosity extends not only to Her but to her weakest and most needy members. The Holy Church of Christ, our True God Who was born and made manifest in the flesh, possesses countless opportunities to preach the Truth - that all of us who are baptized in the Name of the All-Holy Trinity are spiritual brethren and what is more, members of the Body of Christ. And this is because all of us have been spiritually born from the same "delphus" which means a mother's womb. Hence the "adelphia" are those born from the same womb, which in this case is the Holy Baptismal Font.
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Live Epiphany 2006 Celebrations Available on Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Website

Tarpon Springs, FL - The Centennial Epiphany and Blessing of the Water Celebrations in Tarpon Springs, FL will be broadcast LIVE on January 6 on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website at www.goarch.org/liturgy. His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of over 250 million Orthodox Christians, will preside over the event which is expected to attract thousands of Orthodox Christians and non-Orthodox Christians. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and other hierarchs and local clergy will also participate in the services and festivities of Epiphany.
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Homily of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Doxology in Saint Nicholas Cathedral Tarpon Springs, FL - January 4

With much joy and emotion we again visit you, the people of Greek decent living in America, to celebrate with you the great Feast of Epiphany. You invited us, and we eagerly responded, for your love toward the Mother Church meets our love toward you in our hearts. This mutual love brings one closer to the other, for love is a unifying power, a power that unites people and brings forth harmonious coexistence and communion of the hearts.
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Salutation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Upon His Arrival in Clearwater, Florida - January 4

Blessed is our God, who again led the steps of our Humility from the Mother Church to this blessed American nation, where millions of beloved and fine spiritual children of our Holy Great Mother Orthodox Church of Christ live in harmonious coexistence and cooperation along with our much beloved American citizens, regardless of the religious affiliation of each.
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