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OCMC News - His Beatitude Theodoros II Pope and Patriach of Alexandria visits with Masai

by News from the Patriarchate of Alexandria (Posted 8/5/2009)

OCMC News - His Beatitude Theodoros II Pope and Patriach of Alexandria visits with Masai

On 2nd June 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, was welcomed in Ewaso, 30km from Nairobi, by the Masai of Kenya in their traditional dress with songs and dancing.  It was the first visit by the Venerable Primate of the Church of Alexandria to the Masai.  In Kenya there are five Orthodox Communities of Masai, four of which are at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.

His Beatitude addressed the community when he met them in their village:  “You must always remember to keep your traditions, your customs and habits.” Addressing the youth, he stressed that "you are the future of the country and from you, Orthodoxy also expects much."  It is a fact that the Orthodox Masai maintain their customs and habits, and it is worth noting that the Orthodox Church in the area stands by the Masai, who in the past 30 years have embraced Christianity.  The local hierarch, His Eminence Makarios, was thanked publicly for his efforts and his initiatives, which include the translation of the Divine Liturgy and all other services into the language of the Masai, so that they too can live the liturgical life in their own language. He has also provided bursaries and created a school and a clinic.  There are also young Masai who are enrolled at the Patriarchal “Archbishop Makarios III” Seminary in Nairobi, preparing to become the future leaders of the Church.  The welcome ended with traditional dances and songs of the Masai tribe, who gave the Alexandrian Primate their tribal scepter to thank him for the visit.

His Beatitude then immediately returned to Nairobi, continuing his pastoral journey in Kenya. His visit culminated on Sunday with the celebration of the fifty-year anniversary of the Metropolis of Kenya.

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