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Pastoral visit of the Metropolitan of Sweden to Anderstorp and Jönköping

During the three days of May 17-19, His Eminence Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia, accompanied by Archimandrite Sosipatros Stephanoudis, visited the flock of the Mother Church of Constantinople in the Swedish cities of Anderstorp and Jönköping.

In the afternoon of May 17, the two clergymen visited the premises of the Anderstorp Hellenic Association and met with its members.

On the following day, Saturday, 18 May 2024, an Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Anderstorps Kyrka, the town of Anderstorp, presided over by Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden, with the participation of Father Sosipatros.

In his speech, the Metropolitan mentioned the following: “We have already completed the second week since Easter, and today we are among you on another pastoral visit, accompanied by Archimandrite Sosipatros, to proclaim to you the joyful message of the Resurrection and to rejoice in our gathering at the Divine Liturgy.

In today’s Gospel reading, Our Lord, addressing His disciples and the crowds who had come to hear Him, emphasises, among other things, that people should not immerse themselves in concepts for the sake of securing only material food, but also spiritual food, which ensures eternal life.

Today’s Gospel passage was preceded by the multiplication of the loaves to feed the people. But again, these people are hungry and ask for new loaves, so Jesus tells them not to be anxious, to work, but not to worry about the necessities of life.

With these words, the Lord is not forbidding the acquisition of necessary food in an honorable manner and with work (2 Thess. c. 12), but only calling our attention to the necessity of not making the things of this world the main object of our concern. He emphasised that we should take care of “the food we eat”.

In the same way he refers to the dialogue with the Samaritan woman, “if you knew… he would give you the water of life”, and goes on to say that this food is provided by the Son of Man, i.e. he states the ultimate purpose to which this food leads, since it contributes to our enjoyment of future goods.

These future goods are offered to us by the Son of Man, for he is the bread of life.

Let us also keep intact the spiritual seal we received on the day of our baptism through the Holy Chrism, that is, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and let us proclaim the greatness of God wherever we are. Amen!

To conclude this address, I would like to thank those who helped prepare today’s Divine Liturgy, the president and members of the local Hellenic Association, and all of you who have joined us to experience the joy of the Resurrection and exchange festive greetings”.

Finally, the Metropolitan went to the local cemetery, where he chanted a Trisagion for the repose of the souls of the Orthodox faithful who rest there.

Afterwards, the Metropolitan and his entourage again visited the local Grekiska föreningen Anderstorp and were received by the president of the association, Dimitrios Spiliotis, and the vice-president, Christina Baliaka.

On Sunday morning, 19 May 2024, a solemn Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Parish of Saints Constantine & Helen in the city of Jönköping, presided over by the Metropolitan, with the participation of Fr. Sosipatros.

A reception followed at the parish, and in the afternoon of the same day, the Metropolitan returned to Stockholm.

Photographs: Dimitrios Spiliotis, Vasileios Ioannidis

Source: Metropolis of Sweden