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Sydney: The Feast of the Veneration of the Holy Cross and the memory of Saint Savvas the New of Kalymnos at the Ukrainian Community of Banksia

On Sunday, 7 April, 3rd Sunday of Lent, the Ukrainian Orthodox Parish-Community of Saint Savvas the New of Kalymnos, in the suburb of Banksia of Sydney, celebrated with due splendour the memory of their Patron Saint, who fell asleep on the 7th of April 1948, and the great feast of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, which is placed by the Holy Church in the middle of Holy and Great Lent, so that the faithful may receive strength from the Holy and Life-giving Cross of the Lord.

This double celebration was presided over by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia. During his sermon, Bishop Iakovos analysed the Gospel passage of the day, focusing on the words of the Lord: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

As he explained, Christ calls us to renounce worldly desires and to follow the will of God, with prudence, humility and repentance. Bishop Iakovos pointed out that this specific passage was embraced from a young age by the venerated Saint, Saint Savvas the New of Kalymnos, this is why he renounced himself, abandoned the things of the world and completely changed his life, living only for Christ. His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis concluded his speech with a request directed to Saint Savvas to help the faithful in their spiritual struggle and enlighten everyone to follow his example.

It is worth noting that for the first time, the Kalymnian Association of New South Wales participated in the Feast of the Ukrainian Orthodox Parish – Community of Banksia, represented by its President Mr. Michael Melas and members of the Board of Directors. The Kalymnian Association of NSW also offered an Artoklasia, while its delegation participated in the procession of the Holy Cross, and the President, Mr. Melas, held the icon of Saint Savvas of Kalymnos.

The Parish Priest, Father Savas Pizanias, after thanking His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, for his participation in the Parish-Community Feast Day, expressed the filial love and respect of all the parishioners to their Chief Shepherd, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, whilst also warmly welcoming the delegation of the Kalymnian Association of NSW, characterising their presence as an important event for the Community and wishing it to be the beginning of the strengthening of ties between them.

After the Dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, a fasting meal was served to all who were present for the feast day, in the Parish-Community hall.