Parish News

Feast of St. Anne on Kos.

Fr Luke Writes:
I was fortunate this year to be on the island of Kos this year on the Feast day of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The apartment where the priest stays in Kos is near to the Orthodox Chapel dedicated to St. Anne, the grandmother of our Holy Saviour, Jesus Christ. This chapel stands in its own grounds in Megalou Alexandrou Street, not far from the harbour.
The small church and surrounding grounds had been beautifully prepared for the feast. I could hear the melodious chants of the choir and the voice of the priest celebrating the liturgy and I could smell incense in the air as I approached the chapel. I entered and stood near the gate. The Metropolitan Archbishop Nathaniel was present with two priests attending him. He saw me at the gate and beckoned me to come to stand near him. I venerated the icons and then knelt to kiss his hand and receive his Episcopal blessing.
St. Luke 14 v 10: “But when you come, go and take the lowest seat, so that when the giver of the feast comes, he may say to you,'Friend, come up higher;' and then you will have honour in the eyes of all the others who are there”What a kind and wise face this Archbishop has, and shepherd-like he truly is. A shepherd of souls. As the liturgy continued the faithful also came forward to receive his blessing. I noted with pleasure and admiration that when babies came forward, he kissed their tiny innocent hands. What a reminder of the gospel where Our Lord Jesus says:
“Suffer Little Children to come unto Me, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven”St. Matthew 19 v 14.
The liturgy was solemn and consoling in its timeless prayerful language of ancient Greek. Time seems to stand still as the ancient mystery of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross comes down to the altar on earth and the bread and wine become His most glorious body and blood.
I came away with some blessed bread. I felt that I had been restored in body and soul by this timeless liturgy in the presence of the Spiritual leader of our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Kos. How fortunate that on the two islands where we have Catholic Churches in the Dodecanese we have such fine, courageous, dedicated defenders of the truth as these two Metropolitan Archbishops Kirilos and Nathaniel.