Esperinos Tis Agapis

The Archbishop of Australia honoured the Governor of New South Wales

Esperinos Tis Agapis

On the Sunday of Pascha, 5 May, the Vespers of Love took place with due splendour and in an atmosphere of resurrection joy at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady in Sydney. The Vespers were presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who was joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia and Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia, and the holy Clergy of the city of Sydney.

During Vespers service, the resurrection message of the Gospel (John 20:19-25) was read in various languages, according to Church tradition. “This joyous message is open to all who are willing to hear and accept it”, emphasised His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia in his address and added: “This is the reason we heard the Gospel passage read in so many languages.

The triumphant Resurrection of Christ is proclaimed in every corner of the world. Christ’s sacrifice is for all humankind. Not just for a certain nation or ethnic group, but for every human being on this planet. Love cannot be limited, it must be shared. This is the very nature of love, the very nature of Christ, our God. Everything Christ did flowed from His abundant love for humankind. And, in turn, we are called to respond to His love with our love – love, both for Him and for our neighbour, made in the image and likeness of God.”

The joyous Service of the Vespers of Love was further brightened by the awarding of the medal of the Order of the Christ-loving, with a star, to the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Margaret Beazley AC, KC. The honouree has shown genuine respect and a sincere attitude of support towards the Orthodox Church and its Christ-loving plenitude, as acknowledged by Archbishop Makarios at the awarding of the highest honour of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. “You have been a loyal friend and ardent supporter of the Greek Orthodox community,” he noted during his address and added: “Your presence here today is proof of the mutual respect that characterises our multicultural society and the spirit of unity, which you unwaveringly pursue.”

In her address, The Governor Her Excellency Margaret Beazley AC, KC., who was accompanied by her husband Mr. Dennis Wilson, expressed to the Archbishop her grateful thanks for the honour bestowed upon her, as well as her deep appreciation for the Greek Community and the Orthodox Church of Australia. Sharing memories from her younger years, she referred with emotion to the beginning of her acquaintance and connection with Hellenism: “As I was growing up, my father, who delivered milk, introduced me for the first time to the Greek community, to people who were his customers. These people worked hard and always fought for the common good and to get ahead in life.”

At another point, Her Excellency Governor Beazley referred with warm words to the person of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, highlighting his leadership ability and self-sacrificing spirit. “Leaders are those who sacrifice themselves to guide and promote the good of their fellow men. And that’s what I see in you,” she pointed out, addressing the Archbishop of Australia.

At the end of the Vespers Service, which was also attended by the Ambassador of Greece to Australia, His Excellency Mr. Stavros Venizelos and the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, both joined by their spouses, His Eminence blessed the Paschal eggs, which he distributed to the faithful who were present, together offering his paternal resurrection prayers and wishes.

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