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The Feast of the Saints of Crete in the Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens

The Feast of the Saints of Crete in the Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens

On Sunday, July 7, 2024, the Synaxis of All Saints of Crete was celebrated for the first time in the historic Church of Saint Nicholas of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens. A celebration established by a Synodal Resolution of the Church in Crete and the approval of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for every first Sunday in July.

This special celebration took place on the initiative of the President Mr. Georgios Vlatakis and the board members of the Historical Association of Rethymno in Attica “TO ARKADI” within the events of the 200th anniversary of the miraculous martyrdom of the four holy new martyrs of Rethymno (1824-2024).

His Eminence Metropolitan Theodoritos of Laodicea, Director of the Representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens, presided at the Divine Liturgy and was accompanied in the concelebration by His Excellency Bishop Nikiforos of Amorion, Abbot of the Holy Royal Stavropegic and Patriarchal Monastery of Vlatadon in Thessaloniki. Archimandrite Simeon Avgoustakis and other clergy and hierodeacons took part.

With the ringing of bells and talanto, but also with much reverence, emotion and evident devoted love, they welcomed for the first time the holy relics of the four new holy martyrs of Rethymno, both His Eminence Metropolitan Theodoritos of Laodicea and the Cretans of Athens, raining flowers and myrrh while spreading carpets on which to carry the saint’s relics.

The Church of Saint Nicholas of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was filled with the presence of Crete: young men and women in Cretan costumes honored all the saints of Crete and at the same time the Holy Four New Martyrs of Rethymno.

After the Divine Liturgy, the Blessing of the Five Loaves (Artoklasia) took place, as well as the Blessing of the Holy Kolliva of the Saints, duly supervised by the President. His Eminence, Metropolitan Theodoritos of Laodicea, expressed his gratitude for this great celebration of the Cretans, highlighting the initiative of the President, Mr. Georgios Vlatakis, Archon Nomofilakos of the Great Church of Christ, and the members of the Association of Rethymno in Attica, in which many Cretan associations participated.

As a blessing, Metropolitan Theodoritos distributed to the entire congregation a small box with icons of the Saints of Crete and the Holy Four New Martyrs on both sides. Inside was incense, kindly donated by Mr. Georgios Vlatakis. After the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, a rich Cretan meal was offered to all present.

Source: vema.com.au