His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia urged the faithful of the Parish of Saint Nektarios in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner, to imitate the example and virtues of the patron saint of their Parish, especially the humility with which he endured his trials and the willingness with which he accepted the will of God in his life.
His Eminence visited the celebrating Parish, within the context of his pastoral visit to Melbourne, and presided over the festive liturgical services in memory of Saint Nektarios, Bishop of Pentapolis, joined also by His Grace Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, Archiepiscopal Vicars of Melbourne and Northcote respectively, and by clergy from the two Archdiocesan Districts of Victoria.
On the eve of the feast, at the end of the Festive Vespers, as well as on the feast day, at the end of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia addressed words of spiritual edification to the faithful who had flocked to the church en masse to honour the memory of Saint Nektarios, to communicate with their Shepherd and receive his wishes and blessing.
One of the messages that the Archbishop delivered, before focusing on the life and virtues of the honoured Saint, was that holiness is not a characteristic and a privilege of another era, foreign and distant from ours. “There are Saints even in our time”, he underlined, referring also to the great contemporary Saint of our Church, Saint Nektarios, while adding that “possibly some of these Saints are among us, they are in our midst, we know them, but many times we don’t consider them”. “Holiness is not a midsummer night’s dream,” he pointed out, however he reminded that it presupposes a sincere approach and connection between man and God.
Describing, then, how Saint Nektarios approached God, acquired holiness and was even blessed with the gift of miracle-working, His Eminence emphasised the virtues of patience and humility, which adorned his personality. Archbishop Makarios explained that with patience and humility he faced the persecutions and the many injustices he suffered, referring to a saying of Saint Nektarios that he often said to himself: “Nektarios, be patient. God sends trials to his own people.” In addition, His Eminence paternally urged the faithful to pray for God’s will to be done in their lives, just as Saint Nektarios wished, who, in the face of trials, made his cross and said “Thy will be done”.
Concluding, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia welcomed and introduced to the congregation the new Parish Priest of the Greek Orthodox Parish in Fawkner, Father Konstantinos Apostollelis. Speaking of a worthy, blessed and active clergyman, His Eminence expressed the certainty that he will work with dedication for the further progress of the Parish of Saint Nektarios and wished him ever strength and blessing from God. At the same time, he warmly thanked and congratulated the outgoing Priest of the Parish, Father Spyridon Vandoros, for his many years of fruitful ministry.