A pleasant and affecting surprise was reserved for Archbishop Makarios of Australia on Saturday evening, when he returned from Melbourne, where he had returned for a three-day visit, in order to perform three ordinations for new clergymen.
At Kingsford Airport in Sydney, Ukrainian believers led by Fr. Savvas Pizanias, Head of the Ukrainian Parish of Saint Savvas in Kalymnos in Sydney, and Mr Peter Deriashnyj, President of the Federation of Ukrainian Australian Cossacks and President of the Ukrainian Parish of Saint Basil in Newcastle, waited for the Archbishop upon his arrival to express their gratitude for receiving them under his shoulder and his spiritual protection.
The Ukrainian faithful were dressed in traditional Ukrainian costumes, held the Ukrainian flag and sang Ukrainian songs and ecclesiastical hymns, while constantly exclaiming “Axios”.° / He is Worthy”.
On behalf of all, spoke the President of the Federation of Ukrainians Mr. Deriashnyj, who said among other things: “In these difficult times that our nation and our country, Ukraine, is going through, your presence came as a gift from God.
We are orphans and we want to have you as a father, and please never abandon us.”
Archbishop Makarios, obviously moved, blessed them and promised that they would be by their side for whatever they needed.
“We will all move forward together, united, with the blessing of Patriarch Bartholomew,” he stressed and pointed out: “This unholy and dishonest war that is the result of the method of the devil and his people will end and then we will all celebrate the freedom of beautiful and blessed Ukraine.
Please, until then, pray that the war stops. I’ll be close to you. I will be your father and the Archdiocese will now be your home.
I welcome you to your home, where you normally and ecclesiastically belong”.
The faithful farewelled the Archbishop with great love and chanted his Polychronion in Ukrainian.