The Orthodox Church as a whole, but especially the holy city of Crete and the local Church, upholds, honours and shines on the holy feast day of the “Protector and guard of the Great Castle”, of the Saint Great Martyr Menas, the miracle worker, patron saint of Heraklion, which celebrated again this year in the brilliant and majestic Holy Metropolitan Church of the Saint Menas, where a fragment of his holy Relics are enshrined.
On the afternoon of November 10, the Great Festival Hierarchical Vespers were held, presided over by His Grace Bishop Methodios of Knossos. Before the Dismissal of the Festive Vespers, His Eminence Archbishop Evgenios of Crete expressed thanks to the presiding Bishop Methodios of Knossos, wishing a blessed and fruitful Hierarchical Ministry. He also thanked the local leaders of the place, as well as the pious congregation, who came to honour the memory of the patron and governor of the city of Heraklion.
On the main day of the feast, His Eminence Archbishop Evgenios of crete presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Metropolitan Church of Saint Menas, co-celebrated by Metropolitan Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronos, Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Herronisos, Metropolitan Kyrillos of Ierapytnis and Sitia, Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnos and Avlopotamos, along with Their Graces, Bishop Theodoros of Babylon and Bishop Methodios of Knossos, as well as many clerics of the Holy Archdiocese and the Holy Metropolises of the Church of Crete.
Also, in the Holy Altar, the Grand Protosyncellus of the Patriarchates, Father Theodoros, was present in prayer.
The divine word was preached by His Grace Bishop Methodios of Knossos, who eloquently referred to the life of the Holy Great Martyr Menas and his sanctifying presence and miraculous interventions, throughout the centuries, to the people of the Great Castle.
After the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Evgenios, after first thanking the Hierarchs for their presence and the ministering the divine word by Bishop of Knossos, he tonsured Mr. Ioannis Drakonakis as Reader and wished him to have the blessing of Saint Minas in his life and ministry at the Holy Analogion. At the end of his homily, His Eminence Archbishop Evgenios thanked the lyricist-mandinadologist Ms. Despina Spantidakis, for the song she dedicated to the patron and protector of the Great Castle and entitled “Saint Menas”, offering her an Icon of Saint Menas, as well as and the musicians: Stamatis Kokkino (performer of the song), Georgios Katsoulieris (composer of the song), Nikolaos Vezyrakis (lyra player), Alexandros Psaltoglides (guitarist), who, at the request of the active president of the Local Community of Saint Silas, Ms. Maria Kypraki, with Cretan levity and nobility, they performed this song from the square of Saint Menas, during the exit of the procession from the Holy Church.
Afterwards, followed in the central streets of Heraklion, with the participation of a large number of people, the Procession of the Holy Icon and the Holy Relics of Saint Menas, as well as the Holy Relics of the recently proclaimed Saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Kyrillos Loukareos, Patriarch of Constantinople from Crete, which were carried in procession by the Abbot of the Dormition Monastery of Agarathos, Archimandrite Very Rev. Father Evmenios Roussakis.
The above mentioned celebrations were also attended by the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports of Greece, the Regional Governor of Crete, the Mayor of Heraklion, Members of Parliament of Heraklion, Vice-Regional Governors, Vice-Mayors, Regional and Municipal Councillors, the heads of the local Military and Police Authorities and other representatives of Authorities and agencies of the local area.
Source: Holy Archdiocese of Crete