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Message of Archbishop Makarios of Australia on the occasion of the feast of the 25th March

Venerable brother fellow Bishops and beloved children,

The joyous and moving words of Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary today resound loudly in our hearts: “For with God nothing will be impossible”.

Upon hearing Archangel Gabriel’s assurance Panagia, having deep faith in her heart, responded with the salvific words for the human race: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”

It was this very deep faith of the Most Holy Theotokos that led to her consent to conceive the Lord and Word of God. Consequently, it is to this faith that we owe the Incarnation of our Lord and the deliverance of humankind from the bonds of sin.

Not coincidentally, the wondrous event of the Annunciation of the Theotokos is celebrated together with the anniversary of the Regeneration of the Greek Nation. A regeneration that was achieved due to the deep faith in God of the enslaved Greeks, which encouraged them to rise up and fight for freedom, without taking into account their numeric and material deficiency against the conqueror.

To these heroic ancestors of ours and to the true faith that burned in their hearts – their faith that “with God, nothing is impossible” – we owe the independence of our beloved homeland and the sacred liberty that we, the newer generations, enjoy.

My beloved friends,

As we honour, today, the heroes of the Greek Revolution and glorify the Blessed Virgin Mary with gratitude, it would be appropriate and beneficial to reflect on the reforming effect of our faith on every aspect of our lives. Our faith and hope in God are the most precious resources we have in the face of every challenge that manifests in our lives; in the face of every trial that we are called to overcome.

Open the doors of your heart and let it overflow with this life-giving source of power and freedom. This is my paternal exhortation on the occasion of today’s double celebration and I am certain that you will respond with reverence, honouring in practice our Panagia as well as our heroic ancestors!