The consecration of the katholikon of the Monastery of the Protection of the Mother of God, also known as Monastery of Solan, in southern France took place, which is metochion (dependency) of the Monastery of Simonos Petra of Mount Athos.
Metropolitan Emmanuel of France concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Metropolitans Athanasios of Limassol, Arsenios of Austria, Ioustinos of Nea Krini and Kalamaria, and Bishops Eirinaios of Reghion and Maximos of Melitene.
The Hegumen of the Monastery of Solan, Ypantia, warmly thanked all who came to the monastery to celebrate while Elder Elisaios formally welcomed Metropolitan Emmanuel of France and the other archpriests.
In his speech, the Abbot of Simonos Petra Monastery, Archimandrite Elisaios, referred to the history of the monastery and the difficulties they faced in opening this monastery in the heart of southern France today, and expressed his gratitude to the Holy Metropolis of France.
In his speech, the Metropolitan of France compared the consecration of the katholikon to the inauguration of a new way of life, free from the passions and anxieties that deprive us of the life in Christ. He expressed the spiritual devotion he feels as a shepherd since God deemed him worthy to consecrate the katholikon. The Metropolitan of France also praised the fraternity and the relentless efforts of the Metropolis of France to promote Orthodox monasticism throughout France.
The Metropolitan said, “The Holy Metropolis of France establishes new monasteries and intensively support the brotherhoods which are the lungs of our local Church.” He then referred to the struggle and efforts of the brotherhood as well as to the environmental program of the monastery.