The Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of the Resurrection of Our Lord, Our Lady of the Myrtles and Saint Elesa in Kogarah celebrated the feast day of Panagia Myrtidiotissa on Sunday, September 24 with a Divine Liturgy and parish fair.
The feast day celebrates the miracle of the healing of the paralytic by the Virgin Mary, known as Panagia Myrtidiotissa, on the Greek island of Kythera.
The festivities began with a Divine Liturgy inside the Kogarah church on Sunday morning, presided over by Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain. He is currently in Australia representing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the 12th Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (GOAA) in Sydney.
Archbishop Nikitas was joined at the Divine Liturgy by Archbishop Makarios of Australia; Metropolitan Athenagoras of Ilion, Acharnes and Petroupolis; Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronesos; Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia; Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnos and Avlopotamos; Bishop Silouan of Sinope; Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis; Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia; Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta; Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis; and Archimandrite Christophoros Krikelis, as well as many other priests.
Also present were the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis; the Federal Member of Parliament, David Coleman; the Georges River Council Mayor, Nick Katris; and the President of the Kytherian Association of Australia, Barbara Zantiotis, among many other Greek community representatives.
After the Divine Liturgy, the icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa was carried around church grounds by youth dressed in traditional Greek costumes from the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney.
Parishioners were later invited to attend the parish fair where they enjoyed traditional Greek food and drinks such as souvlakia, loukoumades and frappe. There were also plenty of activities for the kids and market stores to browse.
Of course, the day wasn’t complete without some Greek dancing performances by groups such as the Kytherian Association of Australia, the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney, the Kalymnian Association of NSW, and Pontoxeniteas NSW.