Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide on Monday led mass at the Valletta church dedicated to Nicholas, on the eve of the saint's feast.
Bartholomew's visit to Malta is a historic one - he is the first ever Patriarch to visit Malta and will also be conferred with a Doctorate honoris causa by the University of Malta.
During his trip here, which will last till Wednesday, he will meet refugees and the sizeable Orthodox Christian community in Malta.
He landed on Sunday at the Malta International Airport, where he was welcomed by Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi.
On Monday morning the Patriarch and his accompanying delegation were hosted by the Scicluna and a number of Maltese bishops at the Archbishop’s Palace in Mdina.
During this visit, the Patriarch and the Archbishop discussed a number of themes of mutual interest, including reciprocal Ecumenical relations, the pastoral care of members of the Orthodox Churches in Malta, the use of Catholic Churches for Orthodox Divine Liturgies, the phenomenon of migration and care for the environment, and the promotion of peace in the Mediterranean and beyond.
The two delegations exchanged gifts.
The 82-year-old Patriarch was installed as Archbishop of Constantinople in 1991. He has been working with Pope Francis on improving Catholic-Orthodox relations, and has been vociferous on migrant issues.