The gift of hospitality - 6 September photo gallery

XXV International Ecumenical Conference of Orthodox Spirituality
Bose, 6–9 September 2017
in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches

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The glory of Christians is hospitality toward strangers and true compassion for them.
The glory and salvation of Christians is always to have as guests at their table the poor,
orphans and strangers, for Christ shall never distance himself from such a house!
St Ephrem the Syrian

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The XXV International Ecumenical Conference of Orthodox Spirituality opened this morning with words of gratitude for this important anniversary. These words were first expressed by Pope Francis, who in his greeting message presented the conventions organized by the Bose monastery in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches as a tool to sprout among the Christians of various confessions a "hospitality of the heart".

Feelings of joy, satisfaction, and even "emotion" were expressed by His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos and His Beatitude the Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa Theodoros II, who began the convention on "The Gift of hospitality" with their speech. Patriarch Bartholomeos outlined man as the host of the Creator on earth; a guest who, pretending to be a landlord, ended up becoming stranger to his own home; a guest that the "hospitable God" never abandoned. It is for this extraordinary fidelity that the believer "hosts the alien as God hosts him in the world".

Patriarch Theodoros II alternated the depth of the theological reflection on the sheer pastor's gaze with the "boundless continent of Africa where war-related conflicts, civil wars and natural scale disasters continually produce waves of refugees reduced to misery."

After the interventions of the two patriarchs we listened to the reading of the messages sent by the Patriarchs Youhanna X of Antioch, Kirill of Moscow and Daniel of Romania. Finally, the intervention of Brother Enzo Bianchi closed the first session of the convention by presenting "the space opened by the cry of the poor and the stranger" as "the place where God reveals himself".

In the afternoon session, the work was continued with the meditation by Petr Mikhailov (St. Tikhon University, Moscow) on the reception of Abraham to the oaks of Mamre, and Anba Epiphanius of San Macario (Egypt) on the reception of the enemy in the fathers of desert, and than with the speech of Chrysostomos Stamoulis (Aristotle University, Thessalonica), which defined "the challenge of our time" as "the challenge of our encounter with the least", the stranger, the marginalized, "the encounter with the mystery of the" love, which presupposes sacrificing kénosis, existential solidarity. "

At the end followed the debate, with a strong question that we hope that the coming days will give an answer: how to make theological theological reflections not a theory, do not become ideology, but practice of life?