Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, August 23, for the Apodosis (Leave-Taking) of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos at the Church in his village, Aghioi Theodoroi of Imbros.
Metropolitan Kyrillos of Imbros and Tenedos and Archbishops Sotirios of Canada, Kyrillos of Moschonisia and Chrysostomos of Myra concelebrated the Divine Liturgy.
Clergymen, Archons Offikalioi of the Great Church of Christ, executives of the Imbrian Associations of Athens and Thessaloniki, and many believers attended the service.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the procession of the icon of the Virgin Mary took place from the Church to the neighboring Church of St. George, where Artoklasia was performed.
Then, the Ecumenical Patriarch wished the faithful all the best and hoped that they would be protected by the Grace of the Most Holy Theotokos. “May the Grace of the Virgin Mary protect our island, the two islands of our Holy Metropolis, our Nation all over the world, all humanity, the whole world, and especially central Europe, like Ukraine, where the war is unfortunately still raging for a year and a half now and crimes are being committed every day. They are actual crimes commited by a country which invaded a neighboring homodox country,” the Ecumenical Patriarch stressed. Later on, he thanked the Metropolitan of Imbros for the affection with which he shepherds Imbros and Tenedos.
Finally, the Ecumenical Patriarch concluded: “I send my blessing, affection, love, wishes to our Imbrian and Tenedian brothers and sisters from all over the world. On this occasion, I congratulate and thank the two major Imbrian Associations, the ones of Athens and Thessaloniki, for what they have been doing for our country.”
On the eve of the feast, the Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Great Vespers, at the end of which, he expressed his support to those affected by the devastating wildfires in Greece, Turkey, and in Europe.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch, accompanied by his entourage, left Imbros and headed for Constantinople.