Pope Honored by Orthodox University

Receives Medal of the Apostle Jason of Thessalonica

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2011 (Zenit.org).- At the end of today’s general audience, Benedict XVI received the Gold Medal of the Apostle Jason of Thessalonica from a delegation of the Theology Department of the University of Thessalonica.

The medal was given to him personally by the president of the Association of Post Graduates and Doctoral Candidates of the university, Stefanos Athanasiou, and by the secretary-general, Zizis Siskos.

In his greeting to English-speaking pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square this morning, the Holy Father addressed the delegation of the University of Thessalonica, saying that he felt «profoundly honored» by this «kind gesture,» which is an «eloquent sign of the growing understanding and dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox Christians.»

«I pray that it will be a presage of even greater progress in our efforts to respond in fidelity, truth and charity to the Lord’s calls to unity,» stressed the Pontiff.

According to Tradition, the apostle Jason is one of the seventy disciples; he appears in Acts 17, during St. Paul’s preaching in Thessalonica. He is greatly venerated by the Orthodox and Eastern Churches.

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