Melbourne 4 1 4 5

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to visit Australia from 4 – 19 October 2024

Melbourne 4 1 4 5

The upcoming visit of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the fifth continent, will mark the culmination of the centenary celebrations of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. The exact dates of His All-Holiness’ visit were officially announced by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia during the cutting of the Vasilopita service of the Archdiocesan District of Melbourne, which took place at the Church of Saint Eustathios on Thursday, 4 January 2024.

Specifically, His Eminence announced that the second visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to Australia after almost three decades will take place between 4 and 19 October 2024. His Eminence also expressed the belief that the reception of the First among Orthodox Hierarchs, by the Clergy and People of the Holy Archdiocese, will be a universal and most festive event, worthy of the great honour and blessing that the presence of His All-Holiness will constitute in the distant ecclesiastical province of the Ecumenical Throne.

Referring more generally to the celebrations that will take place during this anniversary year, the Archbishop announced a rich program in all the States and Territories of Australia. He pointed out that the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia is a notable event for the whole Australian society.

“The 100 years of our Archdiocese certainly identify with the history of the nation in which we live”, he noted in his address and added: “The Greeks with their presence here, with their sense of honour, with their industriousness and work ethic, with their progress, decisively influenced the history of this country. That is why when we talk about the history of our Holy Archdiocese, we are not referring to a small and marginalised part, but to the history of this land and the history of this nation”.

Although for the Greeks and the Orthodox Church of the fifth continent the current occasion is full of joyful events and auspicious expectations, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios did not fail to mention the multiple trials experienced by people in Ukraine, the Middle East and other parts of the world, where military conflicts and hostilities are raging. His paternal request to all was to not stop praying for the peace of the whole world.

Finally, he focused his attention to inner peace, the peace of the soul, which is a requirement for every devout Christian. He explained that hatred, malice, anger and rage are manifestations of a war that is being waged within our soul, a war that is insidious and dangerous, as he pointed out, since it can distance us from Christ. He therefore concluded his address with a prayer and exhortation for the new year: “Let us move forward united and loved, with peace and understanding for one another, with forgiveness, and having the Church and Christ as our centre.”

The cutting of the Vasilopita event for the Archdiocesan District of Melbourne was attended by Their Graces, Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis and Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, Archdiocesan Vicars of Melbourne and Northcote respectively, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Nicholas Archontonis, brother of the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as many clergy and faithful from the city of Melbourne. His Grace Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis and the Consul General Mr. Kakavelakis addressed short greetings at the start of the event, wishing everyone in attendance well for the new year and welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia to the capital city of Victoria, where he is currently carrying out a three-day pastoral visit during the celebration of feast of Epiphany.

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