Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, held today and for the second consecutive year, 89 years after Monastery’s closure, currently operating as a museum, was the embodiment of a dream of Pontian generations, but also Christian Orthodox around the world.
Thousands of pilgrims, from Greece, Cyprus, countries of former Soviet Union, Europe, America and Australia, came here to pay tribute to Virgin Mary, for giving them strength and faith, wherever they are. Patriarchal Divine Liturgy was officiated by the Ecumenical Patriarch with Archbishop Demetrios of America and Metropolitan Varnavas of Neapoli and Stavroupoli.
With deep emotion, the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed a call for “peace and love throughout the world”, referring to the “heavenly message of hope and optimism” granted by the Virgin Mary, here from Mount Mela, “The Holy, and blessed through the presence of the sacred and miraculous icon of Our Lady of Pontus, Panagia Sumela”.
The Ecumenical Patriarch thanked the delegation of the Orthodox Church of Russia, headed by Archbishop Jaroslav and Rostov, Panteleimon and expressed his wish to officiate Divine Liturgy in Panagia Sumela with Patriarch Cyril of Moscow and all Russia.
Addressing the people of Pontus around the world, who watched Divine Liturgy through Hellas Sat, His All Holiness, conveyed his Patriarchal Eulogy from the Monastery, while the Patriarch did not omit to refer to the appreciation and love of the late Patriarch Athenagoras for the people of Pontus, who characterized them as “splendid, brilliant people”, whom he admired.
“And the current Ecumenical Patriarch equally admires, loves, appreciates you and blesses you with all his heart and soul”, stressed the Ecumenical Patriarch.
His all Holiness, especially thanked Russian State Duma Member, Ivan Savvidis, who, like last year, was present at the pilgrimage, heading a large group of pilgrims from neighbouring Black Sea countries.
“We thank him, because he facilitated the pilgrimage of all those orthodox faithful brothers of ours, and we wish to see them and pray together at the Historic Sumela Monastery, here, every year, on this day”, stated the Ecumenical Patriarch, among other things.
A unique moment for the approximately 700 pilgrims, who attended Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Monastery was the interpretation of a Hymn by the chief cantor of St. Nicholas, Kalamaria, under the sounds of the Pontian Lyre.
Source: ANA – MPA