Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Great Vespers for the feast of the Holy Martyrs Minas, Victor, and Vincent, at the celebrating Holy Temple of St Minas in Hypsomatheia, on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.
After the Vespers, the Ecumenical Patriarch spoke to the congregation and referred, among other things, to His recent visit to the United States.
“During our patriarchal visit to America, not only did we have the honor to meet with the country’s political and state leadership, the President of the United States J. Biden, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pelosi, and Secretary of State, Blinken; but also to pastorally visit two small communities in Weirton, West Virginia and South Bend, Indiana, which belong to the Holy Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Chicago, respectively.
As Archbishop and priest when I visit our temples and communities here in Constantinople, I feel a real worshiper not only of the temples but of the living temple that are our beloved Christians, all of you, the people of God, who know how to guard Thermopylae.
Even when these Churches and Communities do not have the old glamor and glory, they still speak of the fullness of the life to which the Lord has invited us. We always see in them the truth of life in Christ, which is eternal and indestructible and unaffected by time and other external destructive factors. Christ, Himself tells us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 10:20).
Elsewhere in his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch praised Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria, Supervisor of the Region of Hypsomatheia, for his work.
“It would be an omission not to express the satisfaction of the Mother Church and ours personally to the Most Holy and dear brother Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria, who organized this year the feast of the “son of Selyvria”, Saint Nektarios, Archbishop of Pentapolis”.
The Metropolitan of Selyvria noted: “We praise the name of the Holy Triune God that You returned healthy and strong. Despite the physical fatigue, you visited our Community with paternal love and affection to celebrate the Great Vespers for the feast of our Saint and we thank you for that”.