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Today Patriarchs are carrying on the ministry of the Apostles to the Orthodox Christian Church. The blessing of the Patriarchs comes from God through the Patriarchs, while the succession of the Patriarchs comes from the Apostles. When we say in our liturgy “through the prayers of our Holy Fathers” we are acknowledging that even to this day, the prayers of the apostles are still being answered by God as we continue to be pulled in by their nets. We are currently still part of the catch of men that they are still drawing in by the scriptures they left, and even within the scriptures the prayers they prayed over the churches, commanding that the letters and gospels be read to all the churches. Today’s Patriarchs continue the ministry passed on to them by the laying on of hands from the Apostles to now. Wow.