The restoration work on the edicule over the Lord’s tomb has been completed according to the previously announced schedule. Earlier, His Holiness Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem stated that the tomb would open to pilgrims sometime between March 22 and 25. The iron cage built around the Holy Sepulchre in 1947 by British authorities has been removed, as the walls of the edicule have been reinforced to be self-sustaining, reports The Times of Israel. The black soot on the stone façade from years of pilgrims’ candles was also cleaned as part of the first restoration work in 200 years. “If this intervention hadn’t happened now, there is a very great risk that there could have been a collapse,” Bonnie Burnham of the World Monuments Fund, which gave the initial $1.4 million for the $4 million project, said Monday. “This is a complete transformation of the monument.”
On 22nd March 2017, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, welcomed to the Conference Centre of the Patriarchal Library within the Patriarchal Mansion, the Association of Alexandrian Scientists, who were visiting the Patriarchate for the first time.
Police arrested one man on Wednesday on suspicion of breaking into and trying to set on fire a holy Orthodox church in Jerusalem earlier in the day, reports The Times of Israel.
Police confirmed that the church door had been broken, after a guard at the Mt. of Olives Church of the Ascension of the Russian Spiritual Mission reported that the church had been broken into and suffered fire damage. Police also confirmed that the extensive soot indeed points to arson.
The church is dedicated to the Ascension of Christ, which occurred forty days after His holy Pascha on the Mt. of Olives, although there is another church 650 feet to the west that is also considered by some the place of the Lord’s return to Heaven.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem at the ceremony of the 70th incorporation anniversary of the Dodecanese within Greece9. March 2017 - 16:51
In order to participate at the festivities on the 70th anniversary of the incorporation of the Dodecanese within Greece, and the presentation of the restoration project of the Holy Edicule, invited by the Mayor of Rhodes Mr. Fotios Chatzidiakos, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, arrived at Rhodes airport from Jerusalem by Aegean air, escorted by Geronda Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, the Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Athens Archimandrite Damianos and Archdeacon Mark, at 10:00 a.m. on Monday 21st February/6th March 2017.