His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew prayed for all those suffering and affected by COVID-19 on 3 May 2020 in the chapel of the miraculous holy source in the Holy Monastery of the Life-Giving Source of Baloukli. The text of the Prayer was written specifically for this purpose and was read after the Divine Liturgy, which was celebrated in the main church of the monastery by His Eminence Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia, while the Ecumenical Patriarch and Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, responsible for the Monastery, were present in the altar. According to an old tradition, every year, on the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearers, a Patriarchal and Synodal Divine Liturgy takes place in this historic monastery, which did not happen this year due to the pandemic.
During the Prayer service, His All-Holiness read the following prayer:
“O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, the eternal Word of the Father, through Your extreme love for mankind You have taken on You our form, and You have opened to the generation of Adam the doors of the Paradise, and have made us immortal through Your crucifixion and Your resurrection, and You have poured out the Holy Spirit on Your Holy Disciples and Apostles, who have illuminated the world and lead us all to the whole Truth. Hear us who are coming to You in humility. Accept, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent Lord, our petitions. O Cause of the good, Giver of all good and Leader of every good deed, extend Your helping hand, O everlasting Reward of those who ask. Save us, O Lord, from the terrible pandemic and from these afflictions. Send Your grace to the sick and console them with strengthening and quick and complete healing. Keep the doctors and all those who surround the sick. Keep under your protection all of us, give us, O Physician of souls and bodies, health to Your servants, both in prudent reason and pure heart, all blessings from above and set in us a righteous spirit. Teach us Your commandments and give us, O Lord, faith in love and ruthless hope, as Your supernatural and heavenly name is glorified while your brethren, the “beloved of God”, is being served. We turn unto You, O Lord, who raised and raised us from the dead and make us firm in keeping Your commandments, through the intercession of the first-saint the Mother of God, the Life-Giving Spring, supplying ever-flowing unceasing floods of healings, through the prayers of all the saints of all the centuries , well pleasing You, the Most Holy Word of all saints. Amen”.
Previously, the Ecumenical Patriarch performed a memorial service on the grave of the late Patriarch Demetrios, commemorating all the patriarchs, hierarchs and elders who rest in the courtyard of the monastery. He then went to the adjacent second cemetery of the monastery where he performed a memorial service for the rest of the souls, “of our fathers and brothers, whose names the Lord knows.”
During his pilgrimage to the Holy Monastery of the Life-Giving Source of Baloukli, His All-Holiness referred in his short address to the initiative of the “International Commission on Human Brotherhood”, the Committee set up in February 2019 after the signing of a joint statement by the Pope of Rome and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar for the supremacy of the universal brotherhood on earth, through which all religious leaders and believers of various religions are now called upon to intensify their prayers to God to save mankind from the great danger of the pandemic. It should also be an occasion for all people to work together “with love, with solidarity, with mutual respect, so that the world, which will follow this global and serious crisis, will be able to work together for a better world than the one we are living in right now” he said.
“The Ecumenical Patriarchate has also been called upon to join in its prayers, and to cooperate in this sacred direction. It has certainly agreed to do so, and to call on his children all over the world to pray especially on Thursday, 14 May, for overcoming the crisis, for treating patients, to strengthen the doctors, nurses, volunteers and all those involved in this sacred endeavor, and to have from now on more love, mutual respect and solidarity between all people, so that the will of our holy God may indeed be done on earth “as it is in heaven.”
One must recall that last February the “International Commission on Human Brotherhood” invited His All-Holiness to the anniversary conference organized in Abu Dhabi. In his speech, the Patriarch highlighted the important role that religions can play in promoting in world peace and respect for human dignity, in a spirit of solidarity and the preservation of fundamental freedoms.