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Sydney: Festive Vespers at the Church of Saint Savvas of Kalymnos of the Ukrainian Community of Banksia

On Saturday evening, 6 April 2024, His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, officiated during the Great Vespers on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Savva the New of Kalymnos, at the celebrating Church of Saint Savvas of Kalymnos of the Ukrainian Parish-Community in the suburb of Banksia of Sydney. During the Vespers Service, His Grace was joined by the Parish Priest, Father Savas Pizanias and many clergymen from the city of Sydney.

At the conclusion of the service, addressing the large congregation, Bishop Iakovos described aspects of the life of the honoured Saint, focusing on the Christian upbringing he received from his pious parents. “He was born and brought up in a Christian orthodox family,” he explained, “and learned the fundamental teachings of the faith, to the point that his desire was to offer himself to Christ and His Church.” “He didn’t want anything from this world”, he pointed out, recalling that from an early age Saint Savvas only desired Christ and that is why he left for Mount Athos from the age of twelve.

Referring to the later spiritual struggle of the Saint, His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis noted: “He learned to fast, to pray, to struggle and to submit his own will to the will of God. In other words, he learned obedience to God which indicates a great virtue, humility. And the humble person neither blasphemes God nor criticises his fellow man.”

Summarising therefore, His Grace urged the faithful to follow the example of Saint Savvas the New of Kalymnos and to try to dedicate themselves completely to Christ, as well as to nurture their children with the threads of the Orthodox faith so that they remain close to the Church.

Finally, His Grace conveyed the paternal wishes and blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia to Father Savas and to all the faithful of the celebrating Parish-Community.