Patriarchal Encyclical for the Ecclesiastical New Year

We have come to September 1st, the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, which the Ecumenical Patriarchate and subsequently the entire Orthodox Church designated as a day of prayer for the natural environment. Since then, as a result of this initiative, the interest in protecting the natural environment has expanded more broadly and numerous measures are now taken for the sustainability and balance of the earth’s ecosystems as well as for all related problems.

August 31: The Holy Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos

According to Sacred Tradition and the history of our Church, after three days from the burial of the Most Holy Theotokos, Thomas, along with the rest of the Holy Apostles, opened up her grave and didn’t find her body. The Most Holy Theotokos revealed herself to Thomas and handed her holy belt to him as a proof of her bodily transportation to the heavens.