Archbishop Timotheos passes away

archbishop timotheos of crete

Archbishop Timotheos was borne to his final resting place in an atmosphere of sorrow and mourning on Saturday 31 July 2006.

An unforgettable figure forever graven on the history of the Church of Crete, the late Archbishop Timotheos will remain in the thoughts and hearts of the faithful, now that he has been received into the bosom of the land of his birth, which he so loved and honoured through his ecclesiastical, missionary, charitable and auctorial work. Crete, the island that bore this great Church figure, took leave of her pastor with honours due to a head of state in an atmosphere of deep sorrow and mourning. Thousands of the faithful came from one end of the island to the other to accompany their beloved Archbishop to his final resting place at the Hermitage of Agia Foteini at Linoperamata, in accordance with his wishes.

The people of Crete demonstrated their love and respect for their great pastor, filling both the cathedral of Agios Minas, where the funeral service was held, and the streets of the city, where his venerable coffin was carried. Honours due to a head of state were given by a military corps in the cathedral square.

The tears and grief were evident on the faces of the faithful who, braving the high temperatures, remained there throughout the service to take their last farewell of the helmsman of the Church of Crete for 28 years, his crew united under the protection of the Orthodox faith.

Timotheos (1915 – 26 July 2006) was Archbishop of Crete from 1978 until his death. His secular name was Michael Papoutsakis and he was born in Gavalomouri, Chania, in 1915. He studied at the Theological School of Athens University and offered his services as a preacher in two wars, in Northern Epirus and during the Occupation. After the war he became Archimandrite of Chania and in 1950 he continued his studies in France.

In 1956 he was elected Bishop of Gortyna and Arkadia, did a great deal of missionary work and founded charitable institutions such as the famous “Panagia Kaliviani” Foundation in Mires, Messara. This foundation was definitely Timotheos’ greatest work. In difficult times of gaping social contrasts and problems, he came to the aid of hundreds of orphan girls.

In 1978 he was elected Archbishop of Crete. He was a Founder of the Higher Ecclesiastical School of Crete, based in Heraklion. He also edited the “Anagenissis” religious publication. He had suffered from breathing problems in recent years and died of heart failure on 16 July 2006.

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