On Sunday March 27, Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, a Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Holy Monastery “Axion Esti” in Northcote, Victoria, by Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, accompanied by the dean of the monastery, Father Spyridon Bonias and the assistant priest, Father Iordanis Krikelis, in the presence of a large number of believers.
Bishop Evmenios spoke to the congregation about the importance of the day, noting, among other things: “We are in the middle of Lent. We need help and encouragement. On the other hand, having endured this fatigue and climbed the mountain to this point, we begin to see the end of our journey, and the rays of Paschal Light become more intense.
Lent is the crucifixion of ourselves, it is the experience – albeit limited – that we draw from the commandment of Christ which is heard in the reading of this Sunday’s Gospel: “He who wants to follow, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me”.
But we cannot lift up our cross and follow Christ if we don’t look to the Cross that He Himself raised to save us. His Cross, not ours, is the one that saves us. His Cross is the one that gives meaning but also power to others. This is what the Synaxarion explains to us this Sunday. ”
This was followed by the officiating of the memorial service by Bishop Evmenios and Father Iordanis Krikelis for the remnant of the souls of those who heroically fought and fell during the Greek Revolution.
Then, wreaths were laid at the monument in front of the main entrance of the Holy Monastery “Axion Esti”, in a ceremony organized by the Board of Directors and the President of the Panhellenic Association of Greek Veterans and Reserves in Australia, Panagiotis Dourios.
The memorial service was attended by Representative of the Federal Parliament of Australia, Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou, Representative of the State Parliament of Victoria, Labor MP for Northcote Region Kat Theofanous, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne Emmanuel Kakavelakis, Chairman of the Intercommunity Committee of Parishes and Communities of Melbourne and Victoria and Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the National Anniversary in Victoria Antonis Tsourdalakis, President of the Hellenic Community Vasilis Papastergiadis, President of the Hellenic Branch Melbourne RSL (Hellenic RSL) Manolis Karvelas, Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris, Representative of the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia, President of the Pan-Macedonian Union and Thessaloniki Association “O Lefkos Pyrgos”, Pavlos Mavroudis , the president of “Pronoia” Christina Pavlidis, the president of the Australian Federation of Pontian Associations Soumela Stamatopoulou, President of the Panarkadikis Federation Dimitrios Alexopoulos, President of the Krithias Association of Australia, Christina Stampoulidis, President of the Panarkadikos Association of Melbourne & Victoria “O Kolokotronis”, Giannis Dimitropoulos, President of the Cretan Fraternity Miltiadis Stamatakos, President of the Associations for the Elderly Yiannis Kostoulias, President of the Association of Halkidiki “Aristotle the Stagirite”, Lefteris Kourtis, Secretary of the Cypriot Community of Melbourne and Victoria, Anastasia Sarakini, President of the Coordinating Committee for the Struggle Cypriot (SEKA ) Melbourne & Victoria, Kaiti Georgiou, President of the Palconian Brotherhood of Melbourne & Victoria “Leonidas” Yiannis Mastrogianakos, Teachers’ representative of Oakleigh Grammar School, Natasa Spanou, with a delegation of students , the President of the Charitable Society of Kavala Prefecture “Agios Silas”, Panagiotis Markou, the Se pancretan association secretary Maria Maniou; and Sydney Bank branch public relations manager Sotiris Matis.
After the memorial service and wreath laying, a meal was served in the reception hall of Axion Esti Monastery, where President Panagiotis Doureios thanked everyone for their presence and addressed the Consul General of Greece , Emmanuel Kakavelakis, who spoke about the solemnity of the day, underlining its importance and the enormous contribution of the heroes to the future of our country.
The reading of the message from the Chief of the General Staff of National Defense of Greece, General Konstantinos Floros, by little Eleni Kalymniou, sowed deep emotion in the room.
On Sunday afternoon, Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta celebrated Lenten Vespers at the Holy Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior in Thomastown, accompanied by the Holy Clergy of the Archdiocesan District of Northcote.
In his sermon, Archbishop Evmenios referred to the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary that we have been celebrating these days, emphasizing the need for our actions to be in accordance with the will of Almighty God.
“The Theotokos had been nurtured by her pious parents and the pious priesthood of the Temple, as she lay there waiting for the Saviour,” he emphasized and continued: “The mere announcement of his coming fulfilled his pure soul of an indescribable joy and a celestial jubilation.
The humble Virgin, baptized and bathed in the grace of the Holy Spirit, welcomed Gabriel’s words. This saving consent is the beginning of the salvation of the world.
In a hypothetical matter, if the Virgin Mary did not consent and accept to become the Mother of our Saviour, the incarnation of the Word would be impossible and salvation not realized.
The Most Holy Mouth of the Mother of God then represented the whole human race and its anguish to be saved from the bonds of sin and the devil.
Therefore, the Virgin Mary, after the Triune God, is the person who appears in the work of redemption of the human race”.
The bishop also made reference to the feast of the veneration of the Holy Cross and, in closing, reminded everyone that from now until the feast of Easter, we traditionally wish “a happy resurrection” ” Καλή Ανάσταση” to all.