Archbishop Makarios sends message for 25th March celebrations

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This year, Archbishop Makarios of Australia has issued a special message to mark the March 25th double celebration of Greek Independence Day and the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos.

In his message, Archbishop Makarios said:

“Venerable fellow Bishops and my beloved children,

“Today marks the crowning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery before all ages”

“Today, we jubilantly celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, commemorating the joyous announcement by the Archangel Gabriel that the Virgin Mary will conceive and give birth to the Son and Word of God. This announcement was the beginning of our redemption. The acceptance of God’s will by our Lady full of grace paved the way for the salvation of the human race by freeing it from the bonds of original sin.

“Centuries later, the enslaved Greeks, longing to be freed from the shackles of slavery and tyranny, fought and shed their blood “for the holy Faith of Christ and the Freedom of the Homeland”. Their struggles and sacrifices opened the way for national independence and the subsequent progress and prosperity of the Greek people.

“With deep emotion, we look back on these two great historical events to which we owe our freedom as people and as Greeks. Inevitably, we become even more emotional when we consider that today’s double feast coincides with another significant event for Orthodoxy and for Hellenism: It was such days, in March of the year 1924, when the fifth continent received, like another Annunciation, the glad tidings of the establishment of the then Holy Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand and the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.

“It was during these days, one hundred years ago, when the venerable Centre of Orthodoxy, our Ecumenical Patriarchate, opened the way to confer on its alienated children, the sanctifying, rejuvenating and ultimately liberating grace of God; a precious resource in order for them to be able to gain a foothold and to toil and labour in this blessed but far away land. Since then, the Mother Church has been the spiritual nurturer of Hellenism in the Antipodes and has played a pivotal role in its multifaceted progress and in the achievements that we are all blessed to be proud of today.

“Three great events with the common foundation of a courageous mentality and trust in God. Three events from which we, especially here in Australia, are called to draw inspiration so that we can meet the challenges of our time and sojourn the new centenary of our Holy Archdiocese with courage and faith.

“Make haste, my beloved children!

“Let us bear witness to our faith in Australian society with greater intensity! Let us show that the blood of saints and heroes flows in our veins! Let us pave the way for new pages of our local Church and Hellenism on the fifth continent to be etched in gold!

“Many blessed years to everyone; sanctified, productive and salvific.”

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