November 29, 2014: Pope Francis Greeted in Festive Atmosphere at the Phanar
ISTANBUL – Pope Francis was enthusiastically greeted with the ringing of church bells upon arrival at the Ecumenical Patriarchate today on the occasion of the celebration of St. Andrew the Apostle, patron saint of the Church of Constantinople, the Byzantine name for present-day Istanbul. The Pope was received at the patriarchal gate by the Elder Metropolitans of Nicaea and Chalcedon. The Ecumenical Patriarch then escorted the Pope into the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George.
The two leaders followed the Doxology Service, a prayer for thanksgiving and peace, after which they blessed the faithful crowded inside the Patriarchal Cathedral. Also in attendance were the consul generals of Istanbul.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presented Pope Francis with an icon of St. George painted on Mt. Athos. In return, Pope Francis offered to His All-Holiness a facsimile copy of an eleventh-century Greek manuscript from the Vatican library and a copy of ninth-century mosaic of Christ from St. Peter’s Basilica.
Afterward, the Pope was received in the patriarchal office for a private discussion with His All-Holiness. Before leaving, Pope Francis was introduced the members of the Holy and Sacred Synod.
November 30, 2014: Pope Francis Returns to the Phanar to Attend Divine Liturgy
ISTANBUL – Pope Francis was enthusiastically greeted for a second time upon his arrival at the Ecumenical Patriarchate today, where he attended the Divine Liturgy to commemorate the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, the patron saint of the Church of Constantinople, the Byzantine name for present-day Istanbul. The Pope was received by Elder Metropolitan John of Pergamon and the Patriarchal Court, which escorted him to the special guest throne of the Patriarchal Church of St. George.
During the service, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis exchanged the kiss of peace, a symbol of reconciliation and love, and the Lord’s Prayer was read by Pope Francis in Latin.