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The First Vespers Service in memory of Saint Gervasios, in Patras

Shudders of deep emotion passed through the hearts of the people of Patras, with the joyous hearing of the canonisation, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of Father Gervasios of Patras.

The joyful news arrived from the Queen of Cities, Constantinople during the serving of the Divine Liturgy. The bells of all the churches vibrated the air of Patra and called the multitudes of the local people of Patra to prayer and holy enthusiasm.

During the Doxology, the Apolytikion (Dismissal Hymn) and the Megalynarion of Saint Gervasios were chanted for the first time.

On Thursday afternoon, 16 November 2023, a multitude of Priests, monastics and devout Christians, Locals of Patra and many other, flooded the campgrounds of Fr. Gervasios, in Agia Paraskevi of Sychaina, where the first Vespers in memory of Saint Gervasios of Patras were celebrated in an atmosphere of holy enthusiasm and deep emotion.

His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras officiated at the Vespers Service, and was joined also by His Eminence Metropolitan Ioustinos of Nea Krini and Kalamaria, and His Grace Bishop Chrysanthos and Kernitsis, with the participation of the holy clergy, both priests and deacons of the Holy Metropolis of Patra.

His Eminence, with great emotion and inner joy, spoke of Saint Gervasios, who started as a small and despised, poor and suffering child, from Granitsa in Gortynia, where he was born in 1877 to arrive after many labours and tears and sighs, at the door of the late Metropolitan Ierotheos of Patras, who became his protector and guardian angel.

The acquaintance of the young Georgios, later Fr. Gervasios, with Saint Nektarios, at the funeral of Ierotheos, was a divine economy for the holy path of Fr. Gervasios, as a student of Rizarios Ecclesiastical School, as a Student of the Theological School, as a Military Priest, as a Professor of Theology, as a Holy Preacher and Protosyncellus in Patras and Athens, as an Abbot and Spiritual father, as a protector of orphans and the needy, as a defender of the wronged and refugees from the forgotten homelands of Asia Minor and Pontus, as the founder of Catechetical Schools and Kindergartens, as well as Camps and the gatherings in times of difficulties for our homeland, as a sign-bearer and miracle-worker while he was alive, but also after his holy transition to the Lord.

His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos referred to the moving funeral service of Saint Gervasios at the Church of Saint Dimitrios in Patras, in 1964 (he fell asleep on June 30), for the thousands of people who cried “Holy, Holy” with tears, but with the certainty of the Resurrection.

Also he referred to his tomb which has been, since then, a place of pilgrimage and also spoke of the glorious day of the translation of his holy relics, which took place on 29 June 2014.

Finally, he spoke about the actions which took place for the canonisation of Saint Gervasios and gratefully referred to the venerable person of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who proposed to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the classification of Fr. Gervasios among the lists of the Saints. He then asked everyone to chant the Fimi of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Afterwards, the Holy Skull and the Holy Icon of St. Gervasios were taken in procession, along with the choirs of the chanters, the Monks and Nuns and the crowd of believers chanting the Apolytikion and the hymns of St. Gervasios and the troparia of the Resurrection.