With splendour and ecclesiastical magnificence, the Holy Archdiocese of Australia celebrated the memory of the miracle of the healing of the paralytic by our Virgin Mary, known as Panagia Myrtidiotissa, on the island of Kythira. The centre of the festive events was at the dynamic Parish of the Resurrection of Our Lord, Our Lady of the Myrtles and Saint Elesa, in the Sydney suburb of Kogarah.
The festive Divine Liturgy held on Sunday morning, 24 September 2023, in the crowded celebrating Church, was presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, representative of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the 12th Clergy-Laity Congress of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. Co-celebrating with the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain were Their Eminences, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Ilion, Acharnes and Petroupolis and Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronesos, while the other two Hierarchs from Greece, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia and Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnos and Avlopotamos, were present praying together from the Holy Altar, and will take part in the work of the Clergy-Laity Congress.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, offered warm thanks to the visiting Hierarchs for the fact that they brightened the holy Feast Day with their presence, while Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia, following the request and exhortation of Archbishop Makarios, preached the holy sermon.
Motivated by the content and message of the Gospel passage of the day, as well as by the example of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia presented and theologically analysed the value of the virtues of humility and practical obedience, as an expression of trust towards Christ and in His Body which is the Church.
Concluding his homily, the Metropolitan of Messinia referred with warm words to the work he found being carried out by the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. A project through which “the Orthodox faith in the fifth continent is glorified, but also the ethnic consciousness of the members of the Omogenia is established”, as he pointed out. For this, he congratulated His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, as well as the Christian plenitude of the Holy Archdiocese, who have surrounded their Shepherd with respect, love and trust.
Before the Dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, the procession of the holy Icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa took place, with the participation of members of the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney, dressed in traditional Greek costumes.
It is noted that the celebratory feast day events of the Parish of the Resurrection of Our Lord, Panagia Myrtidiotissa (Our Lady of the Myrtles) and Saint Elesa Kogarah were attended by Their Graces, Bishop Silouan of Sinope, Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia (Proistamenos of the celebrating Church), Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, and many clerics of the Holy Archdiocese. The Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, the Federal Member of Parliament, Mr. David Coleman, the Mayor of Georges River Council, Mr. Nick Katris, and the President of the Kytherian Association of Australia, Mrs. Barbara Zantiotis, were present, among others.