His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided this year, over the commemoration of Saint Nicholas in Myra of Lycia, where Saint Nicholas was a Bishop.
On Tuesday, 5 December 2023, in the afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch officiated at the Great Vespers of the feast, in the Old Christian Basilica of the Saint, while today, 6 December, His All-Holiness will preside over the Festive Divine Liturgy.
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was accompanied by the following Hierarchs of the Throne: His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Apostolos of Derkoi, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Myra, who is the local Shepherd, His Eminence Metropolitan Andreas of Arkalochori, His Eminence Metropolitan Job of Pisidia and His Grace Bishop Ambrosios of Evdokia.
The late professor of Christian and Byzantine Archaeology Professor George Antourakis noted about the Basilica of Saint Nicholas: “This remarkable monument – which is a typical “Museum” of Early Christian, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art – presents a strong, and indeed uninterrupted religious use from the 4th century (tomb of the Saint, sculptures, etc.) and almost until the fatal Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922.
Thus, the famous Church of Saint Nicholas in Myra occupies a prominent place in the consciousness not only of the people of Asia Minor, but also of the entire Christian world, and even to this day. Along with the famous Church of John the Evangelist in Ephesus, the tomb and the church of Saint John is one of the most important Christian monuments in Asia Minor”.