A group of Orthodox Ukrainians had a pleasant and moving surprise in store for His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia on Saturday night, when he returned from a three-day visit in Melbourne, to perform three ordinations of new clergy.
At the Sydney Kingsford Smith Domestic Airport, Ukranian faithful lead by Father Savvas Pizannias, Proistamenos of the Ukranian Parish of Saint Savva of Kalymnos in Sydney, alongwith Mr Peter Deriashnyj, President of the Federation of Ukrainian Cossacks of Australia and President of the Ukrainian Parish of St. Basil in Newcastle; awaited the Archbishop upon his arrival, to express their gratitude to him for accepting them under his Omophorion and his spiritual protection.
The Ukranian faithful were dressed in traditional Ukrainian costumes, holding the Ukrainian flag and singing Ukrainian songs and church hymns, while constantly shouting ” AXIOS / He is Worthy”.
On behalf of all, the President of the Federation of Ukrainians Mr. Deriashnyj spoke, who among other things stated: “In these difficult times that our nation and our homeland, Ukraine, are going through, your presence came as a gift from God. “We are orphans and we want to have you as a father, and we ask you to never leave us.”
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, obviously moved with great emotion, blessed them and promised to be by their side for whatever they need. “We will all move forward together, united, with the blessings of Patriarch Bartholomew”, he stressed and pointed out: “This unholy and dishonest war that is the result of the method of the devil and his people will end and, then, we will all celebrate the freedom of a beautiful and blessed Ukraine.Please, until then, pray for the war to end. I will be near you. I will be your father and the Archdiocese will now be your home. I welcome you to your home, where you belong canonically and ecclesiastically “.
The faithful farewelled the Archbishop with great love and chanted his Polychronion in Ukrainian.