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Ioannina, Greece: Opening of the Church of Saint Paisios the Athonite by the Ecumenical Patriarch

On Monday, July 11, the opening ceremony of the Holy Church of Saint Paisios the Athonite was held in Ioannina, by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in the presence of the Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece, Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne and the Church of Greece, the President of the Parliament of the Hellenes, Mr. Kostantinos Tassoulas, and representatives of all the local authorities.

After the service of the opening of the Church, the Ecumenical Patriarch officiated at Great Vespers in memory of Saint Paisios the Athonite.

The Holy Metropolis of Ioannina chose to dedicate the temple to a newly-appeared Saint who stepped on the soil of the prefecture. It is noted that Saint Paisios grew up in Konitsa, where he is honored these days with special splendor and devoutness.

Earlier, at noon on Monday, His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomw, accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Environment of Greece, Mr. George Amyras, visited the Vellas Monastery located in Kalpaki, Ioannina.

Mr. Amyras announced a  selection of walking and pilgrimage routes, stating that the Ministry of the Environment recognises all the efforts made by the Holy Metropolis of Ioannina in the Vellas region to protect biodiversity. Addressing the “Green Patriarch”, a designation given to him by ecologists, as the Deputy Minister said, he pointed out:

“He understands better the need to deal with the climate crisis, putting small or bigger shields on the species of plants and animals that exist in the area. This is how we include a project of hiking trails, with a double interest, pilgrimage and highlighting biodiversity, i.e. walking. Initially, we are talking about a fund of 200 thousand euros from the Recovery Fund”.

His All-Holiness performed the Agiasmos blessing of the facilities of the Cheese Factory, in the presence of Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Hierarchs of the Church of Greece and local authorities.

Afterwards, the reception of the Ecumenical Patriarch took place in the Katholikon of the Holy Monastery of Vella.

On Monday morning, the Ecumenical Patriarch received a warm welcome from representatives of the local authorities and the Holy Metropolis of Ioannina, as well as from a large crowd. The official reception took place in the Metropolis of Ioannina and was followed by a Doxology in the Metropolitan Church of Saint Athanasios. Afterwards, His All-Holiness successively visited the Municipality of Ioannina and the Region of Epirus.

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