The three-day “Philotimo” festival, dedicated to the young people of the Archdiocesan District of Melbourne, concluded with resounding success and an unexpected surge in youth participation.
The term “Philotimo” finds its roots in the Greek word “φιλότιμο,” signifying a profound sense of honor, love, and respect for oneself and others, compelling individuals to uphold what is right and honorable, even at the cost of personal sacrifice.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, the festival served as an occasion for young people to come together, fostering connections and communication. Archbishop Makarios of Australia played a crucial role, extending greetings to the festival audience, engaging with the youth, and presiding over the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. During the Liturgy, he paternalistically addressed the youth, including the children of the Melbourne Sunday School and their accompanying parents.
The festivities commenced on Friday, January 26, at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani in Red Hill, where Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis inaugurated the event. Saturday unfolded as a day of joy and interaction among the children, highlighted by the Archbishop’s surprise visit, evoking indescribable delight as the youth had a conversation with their spiritual leader and made questions.
Accompanied by the Bishops Kyriakos of Sozopolis and Evmenios of Kerasounta, Archbishop Makarios presided over the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, delivering a homily that encouraged young people to welcome Christ into their hearts, drawing parallels with the Gospel passage of Zacchaeus.
Then, a parade took place and young children from Sunday schools received icons from the Archbishop as souvenirs. Emphasizing the importance of Christ in their lives, the Archbishop urged the children to cultivate a friendly relationship with Him.
Expressing gratitude to Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis for organizing the “Philotimo” Festival, Archbishop Makarios bid farewell with a promise: “Guys, don’t worry. Next year we will be here again.”
Article translated by: Konstantinos Menyktas