With the Blessings of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis visited Canberra for the patronal feast of St Nicholas the Wonderworker. Monday evening Bishop Bartholomew celebrated Vespers and yesterday Matins and the Divine Liturgy.
Assisting Bishop Bartholomew was Parish Priest Very Reverend Petros Kipouros, Iakovos Siriotis from the church of St Dimitrios in Queanbeyan, and Kyriakos Theologou from the church of St Panteleimon in Goulburn.
In his sermon, Bishop Bartholomew spoke about the person of Saint Nicholas. In particular, Bishop Bartholomew emphasized three important traits that Saint Nicholas had, traits that we need to mirror.
Firstly Saint Nicholas was a Defender of the Faith present at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in 325AD. Secondly, Saint Nicholas was a gentle kind, and merciful individual. Coming from a wealthy family, he distributed all his wealth to the poor. Moreover, he carefully concealed his charitable works. Thirdly a man devoted to prayer and fasting, for Saint Nicholas the goal was to establish a relationship with Christ.
At the end of the service His Grace conveyed the love and blessings of Archbishop Makarios of Australia and asked the congregation to pray to Saint Nicholas for our Ecumenical Patriarchate, our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, our Holy Archdiocese of Australia, our Spiritual Father and Shepherd Archbishop Makarios, to pray for our dearly beloved brethren of Ukraine, to pray for those who are sick and suffering and to pray for the underprivileged.