Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago
Welcomes Queen Noor of Jordan to Chicago
Jordanian Royal Family Has History of Supporting Orthodox Church
CHICAGO, IL: Today, the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, was one of several honored guests at the World Leaders Forum held in Chicago at Judson University to formally greet and privately visit with the Queen Noor, widow of the late King Hussein of Jordan.
The Queen delivered the keynote address at the event. Bishop Demetrios welcomed her on behalf of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Midwest, and thanked her for the continued support of Christianity in the Middle East.
During his conversation with the Queen, Bishop Demetrios especially thanked her and the Royal Family for their support of the Orthodox Christians living in Jordan, Israel and under the Palestinian Authority, all under the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and for support to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as well, the spiritual center of Greek Orthodox living in the United States.
The Queen’s and her late husband’s support have been lifelong but are also tied to the 1951 assassination of King Abdullah of Jordan. The Queen’s husband was 15 years old and escorting his grandfather King Abdullah to Jerusalem when the king was assassinated by a Palestinian. The future King Hussein was saved when a member of the entourage, a Greek Orthodox priest and family friend, Rev. Theodosios Makkos, hid the young prince Hussain under his long robes and rushed him to protective hiding at the residence of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The young prince he saved was crowned as King of Jordan within two years.
From that time, King Hussein and his Queen protected and supported the Greek Orthodox community within their borders, within the Middle East generally. In a display of this Royal Family tradition, it was announced earlier this month that the late King Hussein’s heir, King Abdullah II, will personally contribute funds for the restoration of Christ’s Tomb in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The cost of this restoration has been estimated at $3.4 million and has been approved by all three of the main Christian groups (Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic) that share responsibility for this Holy Christian Shrine in Jerusalem.