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Ecumenical Patriarch: “The monasteries are oases in the desert of the secular world”

“All monasteries are oases in the desert of the world, of the secularized world” stressed His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, blessing the foundations on Tuesday, 31 May, of the Katholikon of the Monastery of Saint Aikaterini in Epanomi, Greece.

His All-Holiness expressed his joy for his meeting with the monks, whom he called spiritual children, noting that during his tenure he visited Mount Athos eight times and from time to time various monasteries and other places – among them the Monastery of Saint Catherine in Sinai – to be spiritually renewed and to draw strength and to continue his pastoral work, and added: “And the monks try to make our Church, our religion, our faith, the world of the world.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch, with his entourage, boarded a boat from Neous Epivates and was guided by sea in the lagoons of the municipality of Thermaikos, which are part of the Natura areas and landed in Nea Michaniona. Then, he attended a dinner hosted by the mayor of Thermaikos, Mr. George Tsamaslis, in Epanomi.

The dinner was attended by the Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs of Greece, responsible for local government issues, Mr. Stelios Petsas, the Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs (Macedonia and Thrace) Mr. Stavros Kalafatis, MPs Costas Gioulekas, Theodoros Karaoglou, Dimitris Vartzopoulos (ND), Leonidas Stoltidis (KKE) and the Minister Konstantina Adamou.

Also present were the mayor of Pylaia – Chortiatis and president of the Regional Council of the Municipality of Central Macedonia, Mr. Ignatios Kaitezidis, the mayor of Kalamaria Mr. Giannis Dardamanelis, the mayor of Ampelokipi – Menemeni, Mr. Lazaros Kyrizoglou, the mayor of Thermi Mr. Theodoros Papadopoulos, executives of the local government, former mayors, His Eminence Metropolitan Ioustinos of Nea Krini and Kalamaria, Metropolitans and priests and monks of Mount Athos, officials, etc.