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Tonsure of an Archon of the Great Church of Christ by the Ecumenical Patriarch

On the afternoon of August 31, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated at Great Vespers for the feast of the Indictus, at the Holy Monastery of The Life-giving Font in Baloukli, in the presence of many Hierarchs and all those present during the canonisation ceremony of the new Saints of the Church.

After the Dismissal, the Patriarch tonsured Mr. Georgios Penelis, Professor Emeritus of the Polytechnic School of the University of Athens, as Archon Protomaistoras.

Addressing the new Archon, His All Holiness pointed out, among other things:

“We are particularly moved,  Ηοnorable Archon, because a child of a refugee family is being honored today, who, amidst difficult circumstances, managed to turn a test into a show of strength and fortitude, and with unwavering trust in God’s providence and in the power of the human will, to ascend, at the age of only 31, at the rank of full professor of the Polytechnic School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and to become a world-renowned expert in the field of reinforced concrete.

You have offered a lot, Dear Archon, to the restoration of Roman and Byzantine monuments, holy monasteries, in Greece and elsewhere, as well as, more broadly, in the field of construction and their anti-seismic armouring. You are a consultant in the restoration project of the Municipal School of Galata here, as well as in the mega project of the reconstruction of the building complex of the Holy Theological School of Halki, as a valuable advisor to the Honorable Political Commander of Mount Athos and President of the Fraternity of Archons of the Ecumenical Pastorate “Panagia the Pammakaristos”, Mr. Athanasios Martinos, Great Benefactor of the Church and the Nation, who has great respect for you. You distinguished yourself, Your Honor, as a charismatic teacher and professor, as Dean of the Polytechnic School and President of the Department of Civil Engineering at your University, as a member of dozens of important Committees and as an expert consultant in countless projects. Thousands of your students admire and thank you. We also praise you for all these impressive things, and we are sure that, now decorated with the noble office of the Archon Protomaistoros, you will continue to lead in “good works”.

In his response to the Ecumenical Patriarch, the new Archon Protomaistoros expressed his gratitude and emotion to His All Holiness for the great honor he reserved, and noted, among other things: “The Great Church of Christ in its centuries-long history has gone through countless periods of glory but also of worldly humiliation. However, The Church always remained a shining spiritual beacon, enlightening humanity with the essence of the teachings of the God-man, Christ. The Church chose each time great goals that, by realising them, renewed her brilliance regardless of the conditions of the worldly environment in which she lived.”

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