For the first time since his election as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America in 2012, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon is visiting the Orthodox Church of Poland at the invitation of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland.
Accompanied by His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, Archpriests Alexander Rentel and Daniel Andrejuk, Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak and Subdeacon Roman Ostash, Metropolitan Tikhon arrived at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport on Friday, August 17. He and the OCA delegation were formally welcomed by Metropolitan Sawa during a Service of Thanksgiving celebrated in the landmark Saint Mary Magdalene Cathedral in Warsaw’s Praga district. Built in the 1860s, the cathedral has served as the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Polish Church since the 1920s, after Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the city’s centrally located Pilsudski Square was demolished. A chapel also was added in the cathedral’s undercroft during the same decade. [See related story.]
After the celebration of a Service of Thanksgiving, Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the OCA delegation enjoyed a tour of the cathedral campus and historical exhibits before meeting with Metropolitan Sawa.
On Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19, Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation will join Metropolitan Sawa and the members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Poland for the celebration of the Great Feast of the Transfiguration at the Monastery of Saints Mary and Martha, Grabarka, Poland, during the community’s annual pilgrimage. The monastery, located on what is known locally as the “Holy Mountain,” is especially popular with pilgrims, many of whom arrive at its gates after walking several days from their home towns. Thousands of pilgrims from across Poland and beyond are expected to participate in the gathering.
Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation will visit numerous other Church sites in northeastern and southeastern Poland before their return to the United States on August 22.
Photo credit: Subdeacon Roman Ostash