05 May 2016

The Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch in Jerusalem

The Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch, Matthias I, arrived in Jerusalem. Celebration and joy for the small community of the Holy City.

Christians in the Holy Land

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A day of joy and celebration for the Ethiopian Orthodox community in Jerusalem. An explosion of colors combined with Ethiopian traditional songs welcomed the entrance of His Holiness Abuna Matthias I, Patriarch of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia.

Welcomed by the representatives of the Orthodox and Catholic churches of the Holy City, The Patriarch then headed towards the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, retracing those narrow streets that bear witness to a journey of faith.
The kawas, the batsmen with the Ottoman fez, that with a stick marked the procession, enabled this small community in celebration, who came from many parts of the world, to accompany their Patriarch in his Solemn Entry into the Basilica of the Resurrection.

Director Relations Department Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
"Ethiopians came from all over the world for this celebration ... we have a group here with people from America, from Australia, Europe and Ethiopia."

Group Leader
“We came from Ethiopia ... Oh God! I am very, very happy to have our Patriarch here!”

Australian Pilgrim
"I have been in Jerusalem for 9 days and we visited almost every place.
We are very happy, because we are in a blessed country. I never met the Patriarch before and I am very happy to see him now."

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church belongs to the ‘family’ of Oriental Orthodox Churches. Now it has 35 million faithful and it has a small community here in the Holy City, of which Abuna Matthias I was the leader for over 15 years.

Ethiopian Pilgrim 
"I'm really happy…
The Patriarch has been here for 10-15 years as Bishop of the Holy Land for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and this is his first visit here since he was appointed Patriarch. We are very happy to see him here in the Holy Land, in these places that are ‘sacred’."

After worshipping and praying at the empty tomb, the Patriarch Matthias I presided over a liturgy in Ge'ez, the official language of the church, in a chapel at their monastery.