Dr. Nawaf Salameh, the first Romanian invested Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Dr. Nawaf Salameh, the Founding Chairman of the Alexandrion Group and the Alexandrion Foundation, has become the first ever Romanian to be invested as a member of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The mission of the Archons is to support religious freedom for the Mother Church in Constantinople, promote the Orthodox Christian faith and its solidarity worldwide, and to pursue understanding and comity among people of all the world’s great religious faiths.

Dr. Salameh was invested as Archon on October 9, in a ceremony after Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. On October 8, he was presented with the Order’s Sophia Award for Excellence in recognition of his distinguished service to the Holy Mother Church and the Archons’ sacred mission.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, accompanied by His Eminence Demetrios, former Archbishop of America, presided at the investiture ceremony at which thirty-six new Archons from across the United States were admitted into the Order. Also present was His Beatitude Theodore II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, who presided over the Divine Liturgy.

Commenting on his investiture, Dr. Salameh observed that “We are defined by our beliefs and values. And some of us have been blessed with the opportunity to put these to work for the benefit of the wider community. I have always been guided by my faith in Jesus Christ, and have sought freedom, which can only have full meaning in the context of that faith, in every aspect of my life. I am honored and grateful to have been inducted into the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle—the First Called—among the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Beatitude Theodore II, I received the Offikion (office) of the Confidential Envoy of the Ecumenical Patriarch—and Cross of St. Andrew, thus joining the Archon Class of 2022. As an Archon, I will devote myself to the Order’s great mission on behalf of the Mother Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

Images from the ceremony can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oe0uMD6Bls

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros told the new Archons: “This day for the installation of the new class of Archons is indeed an auspicious one. For it is occurring in the presence of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. You are receiving the high office and name of ‘Archon’ at this first and very special Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, presided over by the one who is enthroned on the See of Saint Mark the Apostle and Evangelist—and on the very day of his enthronement eighteen years ago, no less.”

His Eminence added that the Archons were being endowed by His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “with the Offikion that he has personally selected for you. Let his brother Patriarch, standing before you, be a perpetual memorial in your souls of the great honor bestowed upon you, and of the responsibility that you now bear to defend and magnify the Mother Church of Constantinople with all your strength, with all your heart, and with all your mind. May you always be worthy! ΑΞΙΟΙ!”

Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, the National Commander of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, also offered his heartfelt congratulations to the Archon class of 2022 and praised the Order’s systematic, comprehensive, and dilligent selection process.

Dr. Nawaf Salameh and Mrs. Rim Daoud were presented the Archon Sophia Award for Excellence

On Saturday, October 8, 2022, at the Annual Archon Agape Luncheon in New York, the Order of St. Andrew presented the Archon Sophia Award for Excellence to Archon Dr. Nawaf Salameh, Mrs. Rim Daoud Salameh, and to Archon Boris Gourov—Alexandrion Group’s partner in Bulgaria—and Mrs. Youlianna Gurova. The Sophia Award for Excellence is given annually by the Order to an individual or individuals for distinguished service to the Holy Mother Church and the Sacred Mission of the Archons. This year, the Salamehs and Gurovs were recognized for facilitating the June 2022 visit of the Archon leadership to Romania and Bulgaria, including meetings with senior Orthodox leaders, government officials, and American diplomats in these countries.

Dr. Maria A. Limberakis, wife of Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, presided over the luncheon and offered commentary on the role of an Archon from a family perspective. Dr. Maria Limberakis stated that “Archon-elect Nawaf Salameh and Rim Daoud from Romania exemplify what it means to live a life in service. They are staunch supporters of the Mother Church and our Orthodox Faith in Romania, Bulgaria, and throughout Europe (…) On a recent religious freedom mission to Bulgaria and Romania, they embraced our delegation as family. They arranged meetings with the highest level of civil and ecclesiastical authorities, individuals who can further the Archons’ mission of religious freedom.”

Nicholas S. Kass, Executive Director for International Corporate Affairs at the Alexandrion Group, noted that “the Salamehs and the Gurovs are being honored today in part for the indispensable service rendered to the Archons, and to the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself…As a former diplomat, I can attest to the ground-breaking nature of this trip, coming as it did at a time of war between the West and Russia in Ukraine.” Mr. Kass, who accompanied Dr. Salameh and the delegation throughout the region, observed that the Archons “came with a message of support for His All Holiness, an emphasis on our common Orthodox faith and heritage, and an abiding sensitivity to local traditions and mores—the building blocks of future progress in these relations.” He also encouraged the Archons to continue thinking of the awardees as the Order’s diplomats in a region that is of vital importance to the Orthodox faith and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. “With this recognition and support, they will continue to help expand the Archons’ understanding and perception of the wider dynamics among Orthodox countries, the particular interests of Orthodox establishments in this region and the Middle East, and of the myriad other ancient Christian denominations, which are persevering in the face of unprecedented challenges to their survival. This, in turn, will help you devise wise policy in pursuit of the Archon’s core mission, an in reestablishing the health and order of the Orthodox ecumene throughout the world.”

About the Alexandrion Foundation
The Alexandrion Foundation emerged following numerous social activities carried out by the companies’ part of Alexandrion Group. Projects have been carried out under Alexandrion Foundation’s patronage for more than 20 years. Alexandrion Foundation follows the Alexandrion Group in its evolution. The Alexandrion Foundation actively supports culture since 2014 with Constantin Brâncoveanu Awards, it honours excellence through the Constantin Brâncoveanu Diaspora Awards and the Constantin Brâncoveanu International Awards. Through the Matei Brâncoveanu Awards, Alexandrion Foundation recognizes the development potential of younger people for research and exceptional achievements in their field of activity. Over the years, the Foundation has also supported Romanian sports performance. Alexandrion Trophies honour the international performance of Romanian athletes since 2016. The Foundation supported the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee at the Olympic from 2004 to 2012 aiming to encourage young athletes to obtain the best possible results.