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Croatian archdiocese gives cherished relic to Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Catholic World News - October 13, 2010

The Archdiocese of Zadar, Croatia, has handed over a relic of St. Simeon to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in an ecumenical gesture that the Orthodox Archbishop Theofylactus said should be “inscripted in the history of the Church in Jerusalem with golden letters.”

The mummified body of St. Simeon—who held the infant Jesus in the Temple—was taken from Jerusalem to Constantinople in the 13th century, and was apparently destined for Venice when a storm on the Adriatic Sea forced the ship off course toward what is now Croatia. The saint’s remains have been venerated in Zadar since that time.

In 2007, during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Archbishop Ivan Prendja of Zadar met with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III of Jerusalem, and agreed to provide a relic of St. Simeon to be venerated in an Orthodox monastery dedicated to the saint. Archbishop Prendja died in January of this year, but his successor, Archbishop Zelimir Puljic, carried out his promise in a ceremony in Zadak last week, turning over the relic to representatives of the Orthodox patriarchate.

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