The unique relic of the Mother of God from her earthly life, which is kept in the Most Holy Monastery of Vatopedi, arrived on Sunday afternoon in Limassol, Cyprus.
The Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, Elder Ephraim, with the Vatopedi Fathers brought the Holy Cincture to the city of Limassol. His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, together with His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Amathounta, received the Holy Relic. A multitude of believers, as well as representatives of the political and military leadership, gathered to welcome the Holy Relic and receive the blessing of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary.
Then, in a procession, the Holy Cincture was taken to the Metropolitan Church of Panagia Pantanassa. During the route, the Philharmonic Band of the Municipality of Limassol played and the faithful showered the relic with rose petals. In the Metropolitan Church, a Doxology was held for the arrival of the Holy Cincture.
After the end of the Doxology, the Mayor of Limassol, Mr. Nikos Nicolaidis, delivered an address who expressed his joy and emotion at the reception of the Holy Cincture in Limassol. He expressed special thanks to Elder Ephraim for this unique event for the city.
Afterwards, His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol addressed the congregation, who 34 years ago had brought the Holy Cincture to Limassol for the first time together with the blessed Elder Joseph of Vatopedi. Moved with great emotion, he thanked the Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, Archimandrite Ephraim, saying among other things: “Thank you, Elder Ephraim, for the great blessing you gave us today and we must say that your Monastery has never received financial benefit from such events. The Grace of the Theotokos is so great in our city with the reception of the Holy Cincture and your presence these days will be a cause of great spiritual joy!’ As a sign of honour and gratitude he offered the abbot a Monastic Abbot’s staff.
This was followed by the reply of the Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, Archimandrite Ephraim. Elder Ephraim referred to the historical connection of the Holy Cincture with the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi. He prayed that the grace of the Holy Cincture would enlighten the flock of the Metropolis of Limassol, protect them, and grant them all strength and endurance and the healing of souls and bodies.
The holy relic of the Mother of God will remain in the Metropolitan Church of Panagia Pantanassa for veneration by the laity until Sunday, 18 February 2024.