At 5 am local time, shortly before the All-night Vigil for the Feast of St. Catherine (which had begun at 8 pm the previous evening) concluded with a procession around the outside of the Monastery’s great basilica with prayers for all the world, His Eminence Archbishop Damianos, Abbot of St. Catherine’s Monastery, addressed the following remarks to Orthodox Christians throughout the world (presented here in translation):

"I would like to thank the Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Alexandria who had the kindness to send hierarchs as their representatives to celebrate and pray together with us on such a meaningful and significant day for Mount Sinai. Additionally we thank all of you pilgrims who have traveled from Greece, from Cyprus, and Orthodox Christians also from Russia, all of you who have come from the ends of the earth to celebrate with us, to pray for your own problems, and for the problems taking place throughout the world, which as we all know from our own observations is not at all in a good state. Therefore we ask you to pray also for us here as, like all the Middle East, we find ourselves undergoing difficult and unique challenges at the Holy Monastery in these difficult days.


"I also thank His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Peiraeus who sent us the technical team of Radio Peiraeus to broadcast the Vigil which lasted so many hours, not only to Greece but to the entire world through the internet, on this day of the festal celebration of St. Catherine. As in other years indeed, this offering was important because the broadcast of today’s Liturgy, which began as you experienced with the service of Great Vespers and extended into a full night’s Vigil, gave the opportunity to Orthodox Christians everywhere to share in our spiritual life here. Our difficulties are not so easy to share however, thus our request to Orthodox Christians everywhere to pray, especially during this period, for serious problems the Holy Monastery is undergoing, thanking them in advance for their prayers and good wishes."

Having expressed gratitude to the Greek government for its support and representation at the services in the personages of its Ambassador to Egypt and General Consul who traveled from Cairo, His Eminence concluded:

"We thank everyone, above and beyond all, our All-good God for providing us the health and everything necessary to be able to bring off this exceptional festal celebration, all the eminent clerics who took part in the Liturgy, as well as the skilled chanters who contributed their expertise to nourish us spiritually in heart and soul. We thank our good God for everything under heaven and earth that His love provides us, through the intercessions of the Holy Great Martyr and All-wise Virgin Bride of Christ Aikaterina. I wish every one of you a safe return to your homes and homelands. Amin."