Agios Dimitrios, Attica, Greece, October 17, 2017
Two side altars in the Church of the Great Martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki in the Athens suburb of Agios Dimitrios in the Attica region, one of which is dedicated to the great elders of our times Sts. Paisios and Porphyrios, were consecrated on Sunday, reports AgionOros.
The second altar is dedicated to the Portaitissa Iveron Icon of the Mother of God.
The consecration of the altars was celebrated by Bishop Agafangel of Fanari, with the blessing of the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens.
“It is a great blessing and joy for me to take part in the consecration of these altars,” said Vladyka Agafangel. “The opening of these altars, dedicated to the Athonite saints and the miraculous icon of the Most Holy Theotokos brings us light and hope.”
The rector of the Church of St. Demetrios Fr. Matthew Xalaris thanked Vladyka Agafangel, saying, “The consecration of these two altars is a joyous event. Our church is enriched with priceless treasures today.”
Sts. Paisios and Porphyrios are well-known and greatly loved throughout the Orthodox world, and their books are among the best-selling Orthodox books in the English language. Many churches dedicated to St. Paisios have been appearing in Greece, Syria, Russia, and beyond.
The Church of Sts. Arsenios the Cappadocian and Paisios the Athonite was opened in Ekale, Limassol, Cyprus in February 2015, and it was announced in March 2015 that another church in honor of the Athonite would be built in Chania, Crete. Servicemen of the small Greek town of Ambelonas (Thessaly administrative region) started construction on a church in honor of the then-newly-canonized saint in October 2015. Another church in Patras was consecrated to St. Paisios in March 2016. A Greek villager has repurposed 300-year-old oak tree into a chapel in honor of St. Paisios. Athonite disciples of St. Paisios have also neared completion on a church in his honor on the Holy Mountain.
Construction on another Russian church in honor of St. Paisios began this summer in Crimea, an altar was consecrated to St. Paisios in March in the Church of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir in the northwestern Moscow district of Mitino, and the foundation stone of the first Belarusian church in honor of St. Paisios was blessed on October 2, 2016 in Slutsk in central Belarus. It was also reported in September that a rehabilitation center in Shakhty, Russia had begun construction on a church dedicated to St. Paisios.