[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Contributed to the Restoration of the Marasleios School of Constantinople - Orthodox Christian Laity

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Contributed to the Restoration of the Marasleios School of Constantinople


Source: The National Herald

The magnificent building of Marasleios School near the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. (Photo: Ecumenical Patriarchate/Nikos Papachristou)

BOSTON – The Archdiocese of America has contributed financially to the renovation of the Marasleios School, whose inauguration took place on the occasion of the name day celebration of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

The Patriarch revealed the financial assistance of the Archdiocese during his speech, stating: “With much emotion and joy, we conducted the Blessing Ceremony, inaugurating, by the grace of the benevolent God, a new chapter in the history and operation of the Marasleios Urban School, or officially, the ‘Patriarchal Urban School of Marasli’.

Rightfully and justly, we express, first, our Patriarchal gratitude to the sponsors of the project: the Holy Archdiocese of America, the Holy Church of Cyprus, the Holy Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, the Honorable Mrs. Argyro Sofianou, and the Honorable Archon Mr. Nikolaos Pateras. Many thanks are due to the responsible person for the entire endeavor, the Honorable President of SYRKI, Mr. Georgios Papaliaris, and his willing collaborators, the engineers, and all those who worked for the successful progress of the building’s renovation. The Marasleios School has come back to life. A new breath is created for our Patriarchate, with beautiful spaces for events, offices, guest rooms, a dining room for official Patriarchal meals where ladies can also be seated, and other rooms.”

Patriarch Bartholomew and the Consul General of Greece in Constantinople Ambassador Konstantinos Koutras unveiled the plaque commemorating the restoration of the Marasleios School. (Photo: Ecumenical Patriarchate/Nikos Papachristou)

It should be noted, however, that the amount given by the Archdiocese of America was not announced, nor from which fund it came, nor when and by whom it was approved it. As far as The National Herald is aware, such information is not recorded anywhere, not even in the financial statements and budgets we recently wrote about.

TNH has learned from Constantinople that it is not only the Marasleios School that received money from the Archdiocese of America, but that funds were also given for the communities of the Panagia of Pera and of Ypsomatheia.

The Marasleios School was formerly an elementary school in the Phanar area next to the Patriarchate, where the children of the Phanar neighborhood attended. With the decimation of Greek community by Turkey and the resulting lack of students, the school closed, and over the years, the imposing building was abandoned and deteriorated. For many years, the Turks were adamant about not allowing the status of the building to change from a school to a general-use Patriarchal building for lectures, social events, and meals hosted by the Patriarch, where women could also be seated because, due to the monastic status of the Phanar, women cannot sit at the Patriarchal table for meals.

However, with successive efforts by Patriarch Bartholomew, the status of the building was changed, and it was restored and transformed.

Patriarch Bartholomew is officiating at the Blessing of the Water Ceremony for the renovated Marasleios School. (Photo: Ecumenical Patriarchate/Nikos Papachristou)

During the inauguration, the Patriarch also said, “The Marasleios Urban School opens its doors without teachers and students, but it remains a symbol and place of teaching and learning. An architectural jewel, embodying with its architecture – the magnificent entrance with the beautiful columns, with its general layout – the ideals of education and the nobility of the Constantinopolitan Hellenism. Along with the other educational institutions, the Great School of the Genos and the Ioakeimeion Girls’ School, surrounding the complex of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Marasleios represents the spirit and ethos of the Great Church, its universality and brilliance. The bells of the Patriarchal Church and the bell of the schools, calling students to class, convey the same message, orienting life towards Truth, knowledge, and faith as a unified force of authentic freedom. ‘Freedom is the name of virtue,’ as the Ancients said.”

The inauguration was also attended by the Consul General of Greece in Constantinople, Ambassador Konstantinos Koutras, who, together with the Patriarch, unveiled the inauguration plaque.

A reception was held in the atrium and reception areas of the Marasleios, during which the Patriarch received the respects and congratulations of the numerous clergy and laity, while students of the Greek community’s schools presented him with flowers.


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