Friday, November 01, 2013

The Relics of St John the Forerunner Visit Portaria

Back on September 22, the eve of the feast of the Conception of St. John the Baptist, our parish had the blessing to be visited by the relics of the Holy Forerunner, as well as relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Augustine and his mother St. Monica, and a piece of the True Cross. The relics were accompanied by Fr. Nektarios Moulasiotis, abbot of the Monastery of St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Seraphim of Sarov, located near Nafpaktos (see map below).

The monastery and brotherhood gained some fame (or notoriety, depending on your perspective) as the so-called "Paparokades," the Monk Rockers. In an effort to reach the youth in Greece, they recorded several albums of rock music. The lyrics were ostensibly Orthodox, although I have some qualms with songs such as this one called "The Microchip," which is based on a popular rumor that the United States has passed a law forcing all citizens to have microchips implanted in their hands.

In any event, the Monk Rockers disbanded some years ago, and, by all accounts, the brotherhood has now taken a more traditional turn. This was certainly what I saw when their abbot visited together with several of the monks.

We celebrated a festal vespers, with artoklasia, and concluded with a homily by Fr. Nektarios, who is a very gifted speaker, on the topic "The Winter of Our Souls and the Winter of Mankind," which was a stirring call to repentance.

The service was very well attended, drawing people from all over. 

In this photo from the women's balcony, you can see the faithful venerating the table full of relics.

It took me awhile to post this because I was waiting for photos. There are many more, including what must be some good ones, but they haven't sent them yet. I will post them here if/when they come.

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