A group of 30 pilgrims from Germany, led by His Eminence, Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany visited the Holy Land in August of this year. This was the first Orthodox pilgrimage to the Holy Land from any country in over a year and a half. Due to the Corona pandemic, the Israeli borders have been closed since March of 2020. The pilgrims were greeted with joy not only by the monastics of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, but also by the Greek Orthodox clergy, Catholic clerics and the local population who depend upon the pilgrims for their main source of income.
The visitors sojourned to the many Holy Sites of Palestine. Divine Liturgy was served daily by the Metropolitan along with pilgrims – Fr. Peter Sturm, Fr. Dimitry Isaev, Fr. Oleg Nikiforov and members of the clergy of the REM.
Vladyka Mark headed the patronal feast of the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Gethsemene.
Nun Susanna of the Gethsemane convent acted as guide for the group.
Some highlights of the trip were Divine Liturgies at the Holy Sepulcher and Bethlehem, immersion in the Jordan River and receiving the blessing of His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophios III.
We are publishing photos of services at the convent of St. Mary Magdalene, the Holy Ascension Convent on the Mount of Olives, St. Alexander Nevsky Compound, the Monastery of St. Hariton at Faran, midnight Liturgy at the Holy Sepulcher, Liturgy at the Bethany school and the meeting of the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
We hope that this pilgrimage will be the beginning of a resurgance of visitors here in the holy city of Jerusalem.;