On Monday evening, 5 December 2023, Metropolitan Dorotheos II of Syros, officiated at the Great Vespers which took place at the magnificent and historic Holy Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Ermoupolis, and was joined by the Holy Clergy of Syros, in the presence of Cycladic Parliamentarians Mr. Philippos Fortomas and Markos Kafouros, the newly elected Mayor of Syros-Ermoupolis, Mr. Alexandros. Athanasiou, Regional and Municipal Councillors, the Commander of the 6th Coast Guard District, the Harbor Master of Syros, the Commander of the Merchant Marine Academy, the Commanders of the Naval Base in Syros and the National Guard Battalion of Ermoupolis, the Aegean Appeals Prosecutor, Educators, the Students of the Academy, who remained throughout the Feast Day Service, and a multitude of local faithful.
In his address, Metropolitan Dorotheos II, referring to one of the phrases of the Dismissal Hymn of Saint Nicholas, “You acquired treasure in heaven for being poor”, emphasised that this is not an oxymoron, because poverty is not the lack of money but the emptying and giving of ourselves to our fellow man, while wealth is the gifts and virtues of each person, love and charity, an inalienable wealth that follows man beyond the grave.
“This poverty and this wealth”, he added, “Saint Nicholas possessed, and made him a glorious and well-known Saint throughout the entire world, and these virtues he invites us to acquire, so that we can radiate the light and love of Christ in society!”, he underlined.
Metropolitan Dorotheos congratulated the present Students of the Merchant Marine Academy of Syros for their presence, their kindness and culture and encouraged them in difficult times which they will face on the bridges of their ships and their lives to always turn their thoughts and prayers to Saint Nicholas, to seek his help and to be sure that he will be with them on the same “watch”, protector, and co-captain!
He also thanked and congratulated the Priests of the Church, Archimandrite Benedict Fragogiannis and Father Loukas Vassalos, the Church Commissioners, the Chanters, and helpers for the preparation of the Feast Day celebrations, as well as the Regional Television Station “Syros TV1”, who broadcasted the Service.
The position of Master of Ceremonies was successfully performed by the Hierarchical Vicar of Syros, Protopresbyter Flavianos Albescu.
A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated yesterday morning, December 6, at the historic and magnificent Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Ermoupolis, officiated by Metropolitan Dorotheos II, with the liturgical participation of the Vicars of Syros, attended by the Government Representative, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Mr. Io. Vroutsis, the Bishop of Roman Catholics of Syros, Petros, MPs, and high-profile figures from the political world of the island and Greece.
In his homily, Metropolitan Dorotheos II referred to a wholesome human, whose main characteristic is peace; peace with God, his fellow human beings and himself. He stressed that Saint Nicholas was a model of a wholesome man, as he had achieved peace with God, through his faith, peace with his fellow human beings, through his meekness and charity, and with himself. The saint managed to overcome his human weaknesses and passions and to rise with the wings of faith and love from the “prison” of his inner fears and worries towards the sky. Just like the mythical character Daedalus flew high from his prison with his wax wings, urging the attendees to approach their individual wholesomeness with faith, love and composure.
Then, a solemn procession of the holy icon and the sacred fragment from the relics of Saint Nicholas was held. It was carried on the shoulders of students of the Merchant Marine Academy of Syros and men of the Coast Guard, accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Municipality of Syros-Hermoupolis.