Thursday, February 19, 2009

Downtown Thessaloniki with Fr. Joseph

On Monday, I took Fr. Joseph downtown to see some things in the city and to look at vestment material for his parish.

First, we stopped at Panagia Dexia to venerate the wonderworking icon of the same name. Then we headed on to our spiritual father's parish, Panagia Ahiropoiitou, an enormous basilica church dating to 450.

In the top photo, you can see Fr. Spyridon telling Fr. Joseph about some of the church's history.

Next we headed over down to Agia Sophia, a 7th century church and formerly the cathedral of Thessaloniki. (See photo below.) It was here that our Archbishop, St. Gregory Palamas, preached his sermons on the uncreated energies of God.

Next we kept heading down to the water and ended up at today's cathedral of St. Gregory Palamas. There we venerated the relics of the saint and admired the wall-to-wall iconography in the relatively new church.

Finally, we got down to business and checked out several vestment shops before heading back home to eat and to prepare for our early morning departure to Mt. Athos the next day.

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