Archbishop Makarios of Australia: “Our modern-day Saints, are proof that holiness is still possible today”


“Our Ecumenical Patriarchate has carried out many canonisations in recent years. Many of these Saints lived in our time. Therefore, we cannot use the excuse that holiness is only for past times and is not possible today. On the contrary, it is possible! And our modern-day Saints are the proof of this”.

These above comments were underlined by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia at the end of the Sacrament of Holy Unction, which he presided over on Holy Wednesday, in the afternoon, at the Church of Saint Nicholas in Canberra. The Greek Orthodox faithful of the Australian capital city welcomed their Chief Shepherd with feelings of joy and enthusiasm, while they also received his blessing and heard words of spiritual benefit and edification.

His Eminence appropriately spoke about the meaning of the Sacrament of Holy Unction, one of the seven Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church, noting among other things that through it “we are called to turn away from sin and turn to the abundant mercy of God, which is lavishly poured out upon us”. “However, we must be willing to accept it and ready to make a new beginning in our spiritual life,” he pointed out and explained: “We will achieve this if we try first of all to look within ourselves, into our own spiritual condition, and stop focusing on other people’s mistakes.

And after recognising our own weaknesses and the sinful habits that consume us, then let us turn with hope to the Lord and with a disposition of repentance ask for His forgiveness. Let us also humbly ask for His grace to heal us.”

Concluding his address, the Archbishop encouraged everyone to respond to the challenge presented by the Mystery of Holy Unction and to make a new beginning, for the spiritual renewal and transformation of their lives. “May the Service of the Holy Unction remind us of God’s infinite love for us humans and inspire us to live a life of faith, hope and love, testifying to the healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ”, he concluded.

At the end of the Service of Holy Unction, His Eminence anointed the clergy and the faithful who were present with holy oil, among whom were the Ambassador of Greece to Australia His Excellency Mr. Stavros Venizelos and the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus His Excellency Mr. Antonios Sammoutis.

Returning from Canberra to Sydney, on the evening of Great and Holy Thursday, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia officiated at the Service of the Holy Passion of the Lord, which was held, in an atmosphere of deep emotion, at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady.

The Service of the Holy Passion was conducted by the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia and Dean of the Cathedral, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, and his Assistant Parish Priest Archimandrite Stephanos Tinikashvili. Also taking part was Father Miltiades Chryssavgis, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne, while also present, among others, was the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis.

The large congregation had the opportunity to participate experientially in the climax of the divine drama, through the ritual movements of the solemn service of the Holy Passion and from the reading of the twelve Gospel passages, which present the horrible and saving Passion of our Lord.

At the conclusion, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia thanked all the pious believers for remaining until the dismissal of the long matins service. “The fatigue of this evening which we all experience, but you more, since these days are days of work for all of you, know that it is a great blessing for your lives and your families,” he noted. “A big thank you and many congratulations for staying until the end, to listen to the Twelve Gospels and may you all have the blessing of the Cross and Christ”, added His Eminence.

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