With the Blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis presided over the feast day services at the celebrating Church of Saint Nicholas in the Capital City of Australia, Canberra.
On Tuesday afternoon, 5 December 2023, the eve of the feast, His Grace officiated at the Great Vespers, while on Wednesday, 6 December 2023, he officiated at the Matins Service and presided over the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the feast of the Patron of the Parish-Community of Canberra, Saint Nicholas the wonderworker.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, having conveyed the love and blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, His Grace Bishop Bartholomew outlined in his sermon three main virtues that Saint Nicholas had that we who are living today need to acquire in order to have a closer relationship to Christ.
Firstly, He noted that Saint Nicholas was a man of deep faith, a Hierarch who defended the faith, who was not afraid to speak the truth. Secondly, he explained how Saint Nicholas lived an ascetic life, where on a daily basis his focus was centred upon prayer and fasting. Thirdly, His Grace reminded the congregation that Saint Nicholas was an icon of gentleness, an individual who loved his fellow brethren. He was indeed a support to the orphans, a support to widows, and a support to the underprivileged.
Concluding, His Grace wished on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, many years of good health to the Parish Priest, Father Petros Kipouros, the President of the Parish and Community, the Parish Council, the Ladies Philoptochos and all who serve the Parish-Community of Saint Nicholas. His Grace also informed the congregation that His Eminence Archbishop Makarios will be honouring the Capital City on Christmas Eve, by celebrating the Matins and the Divine Liturgy, and that it is an opportunity to come and pray, to receive the blessings of our Spiritual Father and to wish His Eminence a Merry Christmas.