The great feast of Vespers was celebrated at the historical monastery of Hosios Loukas of Steiris in Boeotia on Wednesday afternoon, in the presence of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.
Members of the Holy Synod and other high priests, as well as clergy and laymen, were also present.
Metropolitan George of Thebes and Levadia spoke of Hosios (venerable) Loukas and thanked the Archbishop for his struggle to return the relics of the Saint and to re-establish the historical monument. He even pointed out that the century when the saint lived has many things in common with our own time, pointing out that the saint continues to console people the way he used to before.
Later, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras preached the Word of God. He also spoke about the history of the monastery and wished the Archbishop all the best on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of his election to the Archbishop’s throne.
The most important Byzantine monument of the 11th century in Greece, the Monastery of Hosios Loukas of Steiris, is located is situated at a scenic site on the slopes of Mount Helicon, near the ancient Steiris.
The monastery with the two great churches (the church of the Virgin Mary and the Katholikon), the Burial Crypt, the bell tower, the cells and the other buildings, dedicated to the local wonder-worker saint, soon became a monument of unique radiance, because the art in the monastery is considered to be a model for the Byzantine monuments of the 11th century all over Greece.
The principal source for Loukas’ life and the monastery’s history is an anonymous “Life” written in 962 by a follower of Hosios Loukas, shortly after his death in 953.
One of the divine gifts of the ascetic Hosios Loukas was his close relationship with the strategoi in the theme of Hellas with Thebes as its thriving capital. The strategos Pothos, son of Leon Argyros and protospatharios Krinites Arotras honored Hosios Loukas. Krinites began to build a church, which would be dedicated to St. Barbara, at his own expense, as long as Hosios Loukas lived in 946.