SANA’A, Republic of Yemen: It was for the second time that an Orthodox Metropolitan was undertaking a visit to Yemen, located at the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula in between Sultanate of Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, completed his maiden Episcopal visit to Republic of Yemen successfully from February 5 to February 9, 2013.
The Metropolitan was the chief celebrant at the 5th anniversary and harvest day celebrations of St Mary’s Orthodox Church in Sana’a on February 7, 2013.
On the next day, The Metropolitan after offering evening prayers was the chief celebrant at the Holy Eucharist. As he entered the church, Dr Mar Yulios was welcomed with lighted candles and welcome song by the members.
During his visit, the Metropolitan also led meetings with various spiritual organizations of the church namely the Martha Mariya Samajam, Sunday School and the Youth Movement. He was also entertained by a lively variety programmes from Sunday School children.
The Yemen church presently falls under Ahmedabad Diocese from its earlier UK-Europe and Africa Diocese.
As the church steps into its sixth year, the untiring efforts of clergymen who served under trying circumstances namely Fr Jose Thomas, Fr Joci Jacob, Fr Shijin Kuruvilla and former Vicar Fr Blesson Varghese were remembered and appreciated.
On February 6 evening, Dr Mar Yulios offered intercession prayers to St Mary followed by a devotional message.
Orthodox believers and faithful from other Christian denominations came in large numbers to see, hear and be blessed by Dr Mar Yulios during his visit.
The Metropolitan remarked via Facebook: “Reached St Mary’s Orthodox Church in Yemen by the grace of God. It is a beautiful Church and nice people. I am so glad and thankful to God for bringing me here. It’s a good place and good people here. I am glad that I am here!”
Upon his arrival after a long transit at Doha International Airport, Dr Mar Yulios was received at Sana’a International Airport by Rev Fr Mathews Mathews, Vicar, St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Trustee Abraham P S, Secretary Koshy Samuel, area members and others.
Dr Mar Yulios also offered afternoon prayers at the historic Grand Mosque in Sana’a and considered among the world’s earliest mosques during his visit.
After completing a fruitful pastoral visit, His Grace returned to Kerala on February 10.