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Ecumenical Patriarch at the Hesychastirion of the Holy Prodromos in Akritochorio

On the afternoon of Tuesday, 6 September 2022, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Vamvakophyto of the Municipality of Sintiki, in the prefecture of Serres, as he is making a private visit following the invitation of Metropolitan Makarios of Sidirokastro.

During this visit, His All-Holiness, as reported by, appeared deeply worried about the coming winter due to the energy crisis, but also of the war in Ukraine.

In his address to the clergy and the faithful, he emphasised that “more difficulties are predicted in the coming winter due to the energy crisis”. He wished that humanity would find its normal trajectory and that the war in Ukraine, with so many thousands dead on both sides, would end as soon as possible. As The Metropolitan of Kyiv told him, more than 50,000 Russian soldiers were killed in this unjust, unjustified, manslaughter and fratricidal war, as he called it, with Russia out of no where choosing to invade a sovereign and neighboring state. The damages are great, he said, and to the churches, as 200 were destroyed. He concluded with the prayer for peace to come to the whole world.

The Ecumenical Patriarch was given a warm welcome by the faithful, who showered him with rose petals as he headed towards the Holy Church of Saint George, at the entrance of which two young girls in traditional costumes were waiting for him and they gave him a bouquet of flowers.

The Ecumenical Patriarch was welcomed by Metropolitan Makarios of Sidirokastro, who thanked him for his response to visit the area, the Mayor of Sintiki, Mr. Fotis Domouchtsidis, and the President of Vamvakophytos, Mr. Paschalis Viseris.

His All-holiness will spend the night at the Holy Hesychastirion of the Holy Prodromos of Akritochorio, where in the morning hours of Wednesday he will celebrate the opening of the chapel and a memorial service for the repose of the soul of the blessed Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, Hierarch of the Ecumenical Throne, who fell asleep at the beginning of June and his burial took place in the Holy Hesychastirion.