Tuesday, July 06, 2010

St. Paul's

Last Thursday afternoon, we went to the section of the city called St. Paul to venerate the relics of Paul's namesake. The area is just outside the old city walls to the northeast, and it features a park that contains the cave where St. Paul slept when he was run out of the city, and three churches dedicated to him. The first is basically a small shrine built around the cave where he stayed. The second is a modestly sized church built after the mayor of St. Paul had a dream in which the saint appeared to him and asked for a more appropriate church, and the third is an extremely large and beautiful church built in just the last few years. It was to this latter church that we went to venerate the saint's relics, which you can see above. In the photo below, Paul is venerating them.

A view down the central aisle of the church. They are currently working on a part of the iconography in the apse. Below you can see what has been completed.

As an interesting side note, here in Thessaloniki, in addition to the normal apolytikion for both St. Peter and St. Paul, we also sing a special apolytikion written only for St. Paul. This was written perhaps 80 years ago here in Greece and is used in the local churches that St. Paul himself founded, such as Thessaloniki.

After the church, we walked over to have a coffee overlooking the city. In the photo above, you can see Pelagia with Benjamin. He wanted to drink some of her coffee. Above Pelagia's head you can see St. Paul's.

These days, the city is very hot and humid, especially when you're hiking around with three babies. One of the cafes had a mister. Here Kh. Sophia is walking through it with Phoebe.

We then went to a park so the babies could play. Here's Paul playing with a stick he found. Behind him is the church dedicated to his saint.

Here's Benjamin climbing on the fence. You can see St. Paul's. The fence encloses the old park, which contains the cave where St. Paul stayed. It belongs to a private Christian organization and is not always open.

For more photos from the outing, click here.

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