Tonight we were blessed to attend the Chrismation of our good friend, Rob, into the Orthodox Church.
We’ve known Rob over a year, almost since we arrived here. He was taking a Modern Greek class, and he and Pelagia happened to meet in the school’s coffee shop one day. She asked him to our place for dinner, and we’ve been friends since.
He has a fascinating story. He came here as a sponsored Baptist missionary, doing some preparatory, information-gathering work for a later mission in the country specifically aimed at the “gypsy” or “Roma” population.
The long and short of it is that he became more and more interested in Orthodoxy, and eventually resigned his position and became a catechumen.
You may remember his name from my stories about our trip to Patmos at Pascha.
The only sad part is that he’s leaving to go back to the US in a few days. He is an incredibly talented musician, and he had hoped to do a PhD in the music school here, but for various bureaucratic reasons (surprise, surprise!), couldn’t get it to happen.
Nevertheless, what a blessing to learn about Orthodoxy and be received into the Church in Greece!
His catechist and spiritual father is Father Methodios, who serves at the Metropolis of Thessaloniki, which is dedicated to (and houses the complete relics of) Saint Gregory Palamas. The Chrismation took place, therefore, at the Metropolis.
Saint Gregory Palamas’ relics are housed in a side room off the Church. The top photo is of Pelagia coming out from the small room after venerating his relics.
The rest of the photos are from the service. As you can see, Rob had quite a crowd of friends attend—including most of the American group here.