Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Historical visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Holy Agathon Monastery

Thousands of faithful, Hierarchs, Abbots, the Holy Clergy of the Holy Metropolis of Fthiotida, Monastic Brotherhoods and the local Officials welcomed His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, at noon on Sunday, June 25, with feelings of emotion and respect for the venerable head of Orthodoxy in the historic Holy Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos, of Saint Agathon.

Despite the unfavourable and extraordinary weather conditions, the Monastery of Agathon from early in the morning was overwhelmed by faithful believers, who came to honour Saint Vissarion the Agathonite and to receive the Patriarchal blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

In the outer propylaea of the Monastery, His All-Holiness, as well as his honourable entourage, which consisted of Their Eminences Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria and Metropolitan Bartholomew of Smyrna, The Grand Ecclesiarch Archimandrite Aetios, Director of the Personal Patriarchal Office, Deacon Oikoumenios Amanatidis, Codifier of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Deacon  Evlogios Tsatsas, Mr. Nikolaos Papachristou, Director of the Press and Communication Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as Mr. Stavros Raphaelidis, one of the secretaries of the Patriarchate, were welcomed with feelings of filial respect and honour by the local Shepherd Metropolitan Symeon of Fthiotida with the Regional Governor of Central Greece Mr. Fanis Spanos and the Mayor of Lamia Mr. Euthymios Karaiskos.

The Municipal Philharmonic of the Municipality of Lamia and the Military Band of the Ordnance Training Centre paid their respects to the Patriarch, while His All-Holiness blessed all the members of the band while listening to the National Anthem.

Members of the Cultural Associations of Fthiotida, wearing traditional costumes, welcomed His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew showering him with flowers.

The bells of the imposing and tall bell tower of the Agathon Monastery, the sounds of the talanton and semantron, as well as the incense, the aroma of which engulfed the outskirts of Oita, marked the arrival of the Patriarch of the Nation to the Historical Monastery of Agathon, where the Saint of Charity and loving father of the poor and downtrodden of life, Saint Vissarion the Agathonite, lived, worked in asceticism and slept in the Lord.

The Holy Abbot of the Monastery, Archimandrite Fr. Germanos Yiantsidis, surrounded by the Fathers of the Brotherhood, at the entrance of the Monastery welcomed His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, bringing forth for veneration the Holy Skull of Saint John the Faster, predecessor of our Ecumenical Patriarch, which is kept in the Monastery as a priceless spiritual treasure.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew entered the Katholikon Church of the Monastery and with awe and emotion, reverently venerated the sacred and incorrupt relics of Saint Vissarion of Agathonite, exactly one year after the Synodal Act of Inscribing the Saint’s name in the Holy Book of the Saints (Hagiologion) of the Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (June 14, 2022).

Afterwards, His All-Holiness entered the Holy Altar of the Katholikon Church where he venerated the Holy Altar and signed the elaborate Holy Gospel, which is one of the relics of the Monastery and which dates from the year 1811.

Afterwards, in the inner courtyard of the Monastery, an official Doxology was held during the visit and presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch, which was officiated by His All-Holiness and concelebrated by the Holy Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Throne, those accompanying His All-Holiness, as well as Their Eminences Metropolitans: Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitrias and Almyros, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Chalkida, Istiaia and Northern Sporades, Metropolitan Joel of Edessa, Pelli and Almopia, Metropolitan Pavlos of Servia and Kozani,
Metropolitan Meletios of Katanga, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia, Metropolitan Kyrillos of Krini, Metropolitan Georgios of Thebes, Levadia and Avlis, Metropolitan Georgios of Karpenisi, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Mani, Metropolitan Ieronymos of Larissa and Tyrnavos, Metropolitan Ierotheos of Limnos and Agios Efstratios, His Grace Bishop Epiphanios of Olbia, and the local Shepherd Metropolitan Symeon of Fthiotida, while the Secretary of the Special Synodal Committee for Divine and Political Economy and Ecology took part in the Doxology Service, Archimandrite Polykarpos Kentikelenis, and the Archdeacon of the Metropolis Father Nikolaos Polyzois.

The hymns of the Doxology were sung by a multi-member choir of Chanters, Teachers, Graduates and students of the Conservatory of the Holy Metropolis of Fthiotida “Germanos the Melodist”, led by the Archon Hymnist of the Great Church of Christ and Chanter of the Holy Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Lamia, Mr. Dimitrios Mandes and the Director of the Conservatory Dr. Andreas Ioakeim.

The visit of His All-Holiness, as well as the official Doxology, were broadcast live on television, radio and the internet, as well as in satellite transmission.

The Ecumenical Patriarch was addressed by His Eminence Metropolitan Symeon of Fthiotida, while in the capacity of the President of the Special Synodal Committee on Divine and Political Economy and Ecology, in the presence of Synodal Hierarchs and members of the Committee, he offered on behalf of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece, President of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, an honorary distinction to His All-Holiness as a sign of honour and gratitude to him for his great and significant contribution to the Environment and Ecological issues, as well as for the countless actions to raise awareness on a global level for issues of ecology and the climate crisis.

Afterwards, His All-Holiness was welcomed with warm words of respect, devotion and gratitude on behalf of the Holy Brotherhood of the Monastery by the Holy Abbot, Archimandrite Germanos Yiantsidis, while short speeches followed, as well as the presentation of ceremonial gifts to the Ecumenical Patriarch by the Regional Governor of Central Greece, Mr. Fanis Spanos, the Mayor of Lamia, Mr. Efthimios Karaiskos, as well as Dr. Lydia Ioannidou – Mouzaka, President of the Hellenic Mastology Committee, who, on behalf of the members of the Organising Committee of the “21” SIS World Congress on Breast Cancer & Breast Healthcare Conference, which was held under the auspices of His All-Holiness and was held in Rhodes, presented the Conference book to the Patriarch.

Finally, His All-Holiness responded to Metropolitan Symeon’s address with a inspiring and emotionally charged address and paternally blessed all those who were present, as the choir chanted the Polychronion of the Patriarch, while upon His All-Holiness’ departure from the Monastery, the unveiling of a commemorative plaque for His historic visit took place, which now adorns the entrance of the Monastery, and then the Fimi of the Patriarch was chanted by all.

More photos: