“Holiness is not something that comes and goes away as the worldly things do, disappearing soon and being lost. Holiness remains, illuminates, and brings forth a fragrance”, the Metropolitan of Veria said in his homily on the feast of Sant Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher.
His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Veria, Naousa, and Kampania presided over the festive Divine Liturgy at the outdoor altar of the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest. Concelebrants included 25 Romanian hierarchs.
The delegation led by Metropolitan Panteleimon brought a reliquary containing the right hand of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher of Thessalonica and the wonderworking icon of Panagia Soumela to join the celebrations of Saint Demetrius the New, Protector of Bucharest.
“Since today we celebrate the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher, we wanted to bring you the blessing of his holy and graceful relic, bringing a particle that our Metropolis holds as a heavenly treasure of great price.”
“In order to gain holiness, we need to set as the purpose of our lives the purification of our souls and bodies from sin, from passions and transgressions, from evil and injustice, so that God, Who is the only one pure and righteous, may dwell in us and fulfill the work of our purification through His grace,” the Metropolitan of Veria said on October 26.
The Metropolitan of Veria offered Saint Demetrius as an example of a pure life since he “succeeded in reaching such a high level of holiness that he became worthy to suffer the Christlike passion of having his side speared. And he received so much grace from God that the flows of myrrh and his miracles are flooding the entire world. This was because his life, his body, and soul were cleansed from every impurity of the flesh and of the spirit.”
“The purity of the soul and body was what made God choose the humble Maiden of Nazareth, the Most Holy Theotokos, from among thousands of women, and to elevate her above the heavens, to become worthy to be the Mother of His Son but also the mother of all humans, for whom she works miracles through her holy icons.”
Metropolitan Panteleimon of Veria pointed to the religiosity of the Romanian people manifested through pilgrimages to the Monastery of Panagia Soumela in Pontus: “This devotion incentivised us to respond with an even greater joy to the invitation and to bring the wonderworking icon of Panagia Soumeliotissa to your city on the occasion of the festive celebration of your Patron Saint Demetrius the New.”
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca-Emanuela Ene