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Patriarch of Alexandria: Saint Nektarios’ truest presence is felt among our African children

The commemoration of Saint Nektarios was observed by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa during the Vespers Service on Wednesday, 8 November 2023. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated the following day at the chapel dedicated to the saint.

In his homily, Patriarch Theodore expressed, “Today, we gather here to inspire one another and persevere on our individual journeys. Let us exhibit compassion towards those who are less fortunate.” The Patriarch directed his words to Metropolitan Nikodimos of Memphis and Patriarchal Vicar of Cairo, acknowledging the upcoming anniversary of his ordination to the Episcopacy. He remarked, “You hold a special honour as the successor to our humble Saint Nektarios, who radiated love and hope—a legacy you have upheld for the past twenty years.”

Patriarch Theodore encouraged everyone to reflect on the modest abode of Saint Nektarios, describing it as “a solitary cell that once cradled the tears and love of the saint.” He emphasised that while hundreds of churches worldwide, including those in Greece, Cyprus, Canada, and America, commemorate Saint Nektarios, he found particular inspiration in the celebrations across Africa. Pointing to the aged walls and slabs, the Patriarch noted their historical significance, dating back to the time when the saint walked among them, expressing deep love for the people. He shared, “Saint Nektarios experienced joy, pain, and slander. Although he lives on in our hearts and within our Patriarchate, his truest presence is felt among our African children. Seeing them hold small icons of Saint Nektarios warms my heart.”

Patriarch Theodore highlighted the presence of two African students, Deacon Dionysios and Reader Charalambos, who had come from Kenya to study at the Patriarchal School of St. Athanasius and learn the Greek language.

In a surprise gesture, the Patriarch honored the ministry of Archimandrite Stephanos, the Grand Ecclesiarch of the Alexandrian Patriarchal Throne, giving him the Holy Cross of Saint Nektarios.

Source and photos: / Translation: Konstantinos Menyktas