On the Forefeast and the Feast of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, the Archiepiscopal Vicar of Northcote, Archimandrite Evmenios Vassilopoulos, officiated the Divine Liturgy at the homonymous chapel in the small town of Wangaratta, Victoria.
A large community of Kythirians had developed during the 1950s and 1960s in Wangaratta, as reported by vema.com.au, which is about three hours from Melbourne. In recent years, however, a limited number of expatriates live in the city.
For the past two decades, an Australian woman, who had been baptized Orthodox, has devoted herself to the care of the chapel. Unfortunately, Mrs. Jan passed away last year.
Despite the restrictions in force in Victoria this year, according to which the Dinie Liturgy and the services are not performed in the presence of believers, Evmenios went to Wangaratta and performed the Vespers, the Orthros and the Divine Liturgy on the feast of Panagia Myrtidiotissa.
In his sermon, which was live-streamed on social media, Father Evmenios initially referred to the finding of the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary by a shepherd in Kythira. As he explained, the shepherd was a simple and humble man, who was not educated, and to whom the Virgin appeared in his dream and indicated the place where he would find the holy icon.
Following up from this event, Father Evmenios stressed that “miracles happen every day before our eyes, but we must have a simple heart to recognize and accept them.” “And only by accepting the daily miracles,” he added, “will we be able to be spiritually free.”
In closing, Father Evmenios conveyed the paternal wishes and the blessing of Archbishop Makarios of Australia.