With ecclesiastical splendour and in an atmosphere of joy of the resurrection, the memory of Saint George the Great Martyr and Trophy Bearer and Miracle Worker was celebrated at the Holy Monastery of Saint George in Yellow Rock, New South Wales. The Brotherhood of the Monastery, with its Abbot, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Ieronymos, welcomed with feelings of filial emotion and respect, from the eve of the feast, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia. His Eminence officiated at the Great Festive Hierarchical Vespers, while on the feast day he officiated at the Matins and presided over the Festive Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, during which he ordained Mr. Panteleimon Toumbelekis to the deaconate.
In the presence of a crowd of devout pilgrims, as well as relatives, friends, and the wife of the ordained, Metaxia, the Archbishop first addressed spiritual words focusing on the event of the Resurrection of our Lord. He paternally urged everyone not to hesitate to constantly repeat “Christ is Risen”, which is a confession of faith, as he pointed out, as the “Resurrection of Christ is the reality that defines and gives meaning to our faith, but also to our entire life and existence”. “Without this saving perspective of the Resurrection and Christ’s victory over death, everything would be suffocating, meaningless and futile,” he added.
Then referring to the day’s celebration, His Eminence underlined that the death of the Martyrs of our Church, as well as of the Holy Great Martyr George, “is the most tangible and important evidence of the Resurrection”. “And we believe this,” he explained, “because the Martyr, every Martyr of our Church, sacrifices everything and, becoming one with Christ and a participant in the Passion of the Master and Lord, heralds the Common Resurrection, which will take place everywhere because “Christ is Risen!”
Afterwards, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios welcomed the to be ordained Deacon to the priestly family of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. “The main task of the priesthood, which you accept at these moments, is the offering of the Eucharist”, he emphasised to him, among other things, and added: “This unique gift is entrusted to you by Christ today, without promising you glories and comforts, honours and positions of office”. “Every time your personal cross will feel that it weighs torturously on your shoulders,” he advised him at another point, “you are to turn to the Cross of the Lord, Who is the only and sure signpost to the Resurrection. Christ’s victory over death, which is a continuation of the suffering of the Cross, gives, once again, to us Orthodox believers, a revolutionary message: that continuous and painless victories satisfy personal desires and favour worldly power and not the dominance of love. The painless and gratuitous victory ultimately turns into a self-destructive tyranny of the many.”
Concluding, His Eminence recognised that the new Deacon is endowed with special talents and gifts, and expressed the expectation of the Church that he will use them for the glory of God and the salvation of people, not for his own glory or superiority. “Never forget that we are the servants and servers of God and not those who are served by men”, he characteristically emphasised to him, while he did not fail to express his warm thanks to the parents of Father Panteleimon, for raising him in the education and admonition of the Lord, as well as to his spiritual father, the abbot of The Holy Monastery of the most Holy Mother of God Pantanassa, Father Eusebios, for his guidance and spiritual care in general.