His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, and his secretary, Reader Andrew Smith, celebrated the feast of Theophany, known locally as the Day of the Three Kings, at the invitation of Archbishop Alejo at the Exarchate's Cathedral of the Ascension in Mexico City. The two hierarchs concelebrated the Liturgy and performed the Great Blessing of Water.
At the conclusion of the blessing, gifts were distributed to the children present and to the elderly. After the Liturgy, local people came in the traditional garb of the Three Kings singing and dancing. Theophany is the big day in Hispanic culture for kids. Instead of Santa Claus, the Three Kings come at night and leave toys for the children in their shoes.
Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory, who was well loved by the local clergy and people, made it a point to visit Mexico City at this time of year to strengthen the ties that unite the Exarchate with the rest of the Orthodox Church in America. Hopefully, this tradition will continue. Archbishop Alejo has been the guest of the Diocese of the West. Archbishop Benjamin is a member of the board of directors of Project Mexico.