With the celebration of the solemn High Priestly Vespers, the liturgical events commemorating the saving of the island from the plague in 1673, following a supernatural miracle of the Saint and Wonderworker Spyridon, whose imperishable relic is litanically litanically, began in Corfu on the afternoon of Saturday, November 4, 2023 on the first Sunday of November.
Theophilastatos officiated at the vespers Bishop Nektariosassistant to the Patriarch of Serbia, while His Eminence concelebrated Metropolitan of Bresthenes Mr. Theoklitos, His Eminence Metropolitan of Semokmedes Mr. Iosif, from the Patriarchate of Georgia and the relevant Pastor His Holiness Metropolitan of Corfu, Paxos and Diapontia Islands Mr. Nektarios.
Many priests, both from Corfu and from other parts of Greece, from the Metropolises Kissamos and Selino of Crete, Triphylia and Olympia, Lemons and Katerina, CephaloniaLefkada and Ithaca and Konitsis, but also believers from Agriculturethe Romaniathe Serbia and elsewhere they participated in the joy of the festival.
They were all welcomed with warm words by the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Corfu, Mr. Nektarios, who pointed out that the Saint Spiridon he is a universal Saint, who connects the Orthodox all over the world, as he comes as a warm protector and helper to all.
The Reverend Mr. Nektarios gladly welcomed the High Priests participating in the celebration. The Most Reverend Metropolitan of Bresthenes, Mr. Theoklitos, with whom they are united by the great bequest of the blessed Archbishop Christodoulou, who revived the momentum of the Church and brought it into communion especially with the youth, making it put aside all prejudice. Metropolitan Mr. Iosif, who is spiritually connected to the great spiritual figure of the Patriarch of Georgia Mr. Ilios and reminds us of the struggle of a suffering people, the Georgians, with whom Hellenism has been connected for centuries. Finally, the Bishop Mr. Nektarios, assistant to the Greek-learned and spiritual man, the Patriarch of Serbia, Mr. Porphyrios, with whom the Metropolitan of Corfu has been a friend since his youth, while Corfu had helped the Serbian people a lot during the First World War War.
The divine word was preached by the General Hierarchal Commissioner of the Holy Diocese of Corfu, Primate Themistocles Mourtzanos, who recalled that Saint Spyridon, with his miraculous intervention, redeemed the people of Corfu from three plagues: that of the body from the plague, that of the soul from the of discernment that trials bring, but also of the mind, which remembered the new plague and the older plague that had preceded it 50 years before, increasing fear, bitterness and perhaps even complaint against God. But the saint, having the grace of God and the blessing of communion with Him, gave instead of pain and death life, instead of recognition joy and hope, and instead of the memory of familiar evils the memory of providence and love God’s. This is what the Saint teaches even in our times. It reminds us that our destination is not death, but resurrection. Not the darkness of loneliness and despair due to the absence of meaning from the superior man that surrounds us, but the joy of communion with God and fellow man. It is not evil that dominates, but the memory and experience of God’s providence that is imprinted in the Church, because it saves us and urges us to live God’s faith and grace.