Isn’t it sort of symbolic that it is the very Metropolitan Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) who serves as an abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery (aka New Sion, Aya Triada Monastırı) on Halki (Heybeliada). The Turkish name of the hill where the theological school of Halki and the monastery are situated is Ümit Tepesi. It means “the hill of hope” in English. And the abbot’s Greek name Elpidophoros originally has the meaning “Hopeful” (ελπίδα =hope).
I wish there were one more Hope in this sequence – the one of the long-awaited reopening of the seminary. Don’t know if there is any real movements in this direction. Nevertheless, whenever Patriarch Bartholomew pays visit to the Aya Triada Monastery and shows it to the high-ranking guest from abroad, it fills my heart with this feeling. The same happened yesterday, on the feast day of the monastery’s founder Photius the Great, when His All-Holiness visited Halki being accompanied by the honorable Greek Consul General in Istanbul Evangelos C. Sekeris and the honorable (and brave) Consul General of Italy in Istanbul Federica Ferrari Bravo.