Honoring the Memory of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos
A trisagion was offered for His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos at his graveside outside Holy Cross Chapel on Sunday, April 10, the eleventh anniversary of his passing. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Christopher Metropulos, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross, invited all in the Chapel to join the procession to His Eminence's final resting place. Fr. Christopher made special note of the fact that Archbishop Iakovos declined to be laid to rest amid the powerful and famous in the First Cemetery of Athens, as was widely expected. Instead, he is known to have said, "I want to be buried at my school, where the students can visit me and pray for me."
Archbishop Iakovos was known to millions around the world--Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike--as the majestic figure who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma and worked tirelessly for social justice and Christian unity throughout his long life. Under his leadership, the Greek Orthodox Church joined the mainstream of religious and political life in this country and abroad. He met every US president from Eisenhower to Clinton and was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Carter.
Yet His Eminence's close connection to our school endured from his earliest days in America to his last. He served as assistant dean of Holy Cross at its first home in Pomfret, CT, and was instrumental in orchestrating the move to its current location in Brookline, MA. It was during his tenure as Archbishop that Hellenic College became the first fully accredited Orthodox Christian college in the Western Hemisphere. Of all the recognition bestowed on him, he took greatest pride in having HCHC's library and learning center named in his honor at a ceremony attended by his good friend, President George H.W. Bush.
It is only fitting, then, that Archbishop Iakovos should have his final earthly home on our campus, a reminder to all of an extraordinary man of God.