The ‘final farewell’ to the late Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Nicolaos Bozikis


n an atmosphere of intense emotion and deep human sorrow, the funeral service for the late Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Nicolaos Bozikis was held in Sydney on Wednesday, 21 February 2024. The funeral service was presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who was joined also by Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia, and Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea, Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, as well as by a multitude of clergy and monastics from the city of Sydney and more widely from greater New South Wales.

The Church of Saint Nicholas, in the suburb of Marrickville, Sydney, where the late Father Nicolaos had received the second degree of priesthood in the early 1970s and had ministered faithfully for more than six years, in the middle of the last decade, was overwhelmed by crowds of faithful who wanted to bid him a “final farewell”. Among them were Presvytera Chryse, the children, grandchildren and other relatives of the late priest, as well as the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, and a delegation of officers from the NSW Police force, as Father Nicolaos had also served as a Police Chaplain in the New South Wales Police Service.

The eulogy was delivered with great emotion, by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who conveyed to the relatives of Father Nicolaos the condolences of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of Miletus, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint Anastasia Farmakolytria in Thessaloniki, and of all the graduates of the Ecclesiastical School of Saint Anastasia, in which the young Nicolaos Bozikis, before his migration in Australia, had studied the Sacred Science of Theology.

The Archbishop described at length the priestly journey of the venerable and beloved clergyman, from the Parish of the Holy Cross in the city of Wollongong to the many parishes in Sydney, which he served sacrificially until the last years of his earthly life. As His Eminence pointed out: “Wherever the Church called him to minister, immediately with a spirit of self-sacrifice and obedience he ran to serve the people of God, to help in the ministry of the salvation of the people.”

At another point, His Eminence spoke of a “faithful soldier of the Church”, highlighting his devotion, the virtue of obedience and his genuine priestly ethos. “He was always a faithful soldier of the Church, without conditions”, he underlined and continued: “Wherever the Church asked him to go, he went. Without hesitation, without thinking about distances, without thinking that he will suffer financially, without thinking about his family, without thinking about the deterioration of his health. He ran everywhere. And if there was a little time left, he again ran for the Church. In order to make sure he was present wherever he was asked to be.

All of you that are here today, did not simply come to say “goodbye” to a priest. You came because you knew him, you came because we all have an experience of Father Nicolaos to testify and share. You came here because you saw him at every Vespers Service, at every Divine Liturgy, at every event of the Archdiocese. Even in the recent months when he had problems with his health, he was running and he was the first, present at all the events. In other words, he lived the life of the Church.”

Finally, Archbishop Makarios, also citing his personal experience of working with the late Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, underlined the caring and sacrificial spirit of his ministry. “He was not a man who was going to negotiate the interests of the Church and the Nation. He was not a man who would accept to take a step back for the Church and for the Nation.

For his family he took many steps back, for the Church never,” His Eminence said, among other things. Concluding, His Eminence wished that the example of the life of the late Father Nicolaos would guide and enlighten the consciences of all, and he declared most assuredly that God would rest his soul among the Saints and the Righteous.

Following the end of the funeral service, the late Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne was interred at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney.

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