Message from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Throne, beloved brother hierarchs, distinguished guests, our dearly beloved Christ-loving clergy and laity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: grace be to you and peace from God.
It is on this great and historic occasion that we greet all of you from the martyric Mother Church of Constantinople with much love and joy, as you gather together to officially commence the rising from the ashes of our beloved Saint Nicholas National Shrine located in the heart of New York City at the World Trade Center. Naturally, much has already been undertaken toward achieving this goal, which we commend and congratulate; however, perhaps now more than ever before, we encourage you to come together as one, similar to the manner in which the early Greek immigrants united and struggled for its original construction. Through their Christian humility and poverty, as it was for our blessed father and hierarch St. Nicholas, these men and women achieved great heights and riches. What they started then, will continue now. What they once envisioned for the generations of souls nourished by this holy place, will be reestablished for future pilgrims journeying here to encounter personally our Lord's joy and love.
May your labors, perseverance, dedication and faith manifest in the construction of this sacred temple, which we pray will truly become a haven of the tempest tossed, a comfort for mourning, a healing of passions, a refuge of the weak, a sign of victory over evil and the pouring of the heavens upon the earth. May the works of your hands be blessed with prosperity, longevity, and every good endowment and perfect gift from above.
At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 18th of October, 2014
Your fervent supplicant before God,
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch