Simferopol, Crimea, June 13, 2018
A delegation from the Greek Orthodox Church jointed its Russian brothers and sisters in Crimea on Monday, participating in the celebrations in honor of St. Luke of Simferopol, the Blessed Surgeon, who is widely venerated in Greece, reports the site of the Diocese of Crimea.
The feast was celebrated in the Simferopol Holy Trinity Monastery, which was the episcopal cathedral in St. Luke’s time, and where the great 20th-century saint’s relics lie.
The festivities began on Saturday with a moleben for the blessing of the waters and an akathist to St. Luke. According to a long-standing tradition, hospital gowns were blessed this day as well.
“After all, medical gowns are not just work clothes. They are a constant reminder of the great responsibility that doctors bear before God and their patients,” said Archpriest Paul Morozenko, who blessed the gowns.
The festive All-Night Vigil for the feast of St. Luke was celebrated in the convent cathedral the following night.
The Greek delegation of hierarchs, clergy, and faithful pilgrims arrived the next day for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in honor of the beloved St. Luke. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea, with the assistance of His Eminence Metropolitan Platon of Feodosia and Kerch, His Eminence Arcbishop Alypy of Dzhankoy and Razdolnensk, and the Greek hierarchs His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Nafplio and Argolis, His Eminence Metropolitan Kallinikos of Arta, and His Eminence Metropolitan Timotheos of Thessaliotis and Fanariofersala.
A miracle of St. Luke occurred in Met. Nektarios’ area, in the city of Argos in 2014, when oil from the saint’s relics healed a man of his long-time excruciating back pain. St. Luke also operated on a man in Northern Greece in 2004, removing his brain tumor.
Following the Divine Liturgy, Met. Lazar addressed those present with an archpastoral word in which he called on his flock and the pilgrims to the holy monastery to joint prayer and spiritual feats:
I heartily congratulate you all with the day of the Holy Hierarch Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea, one of the greatest saints of the Church of Christ, a great saint of God, man of prayer, and wonderworker, to whom we flow with fervent faith and hope... He is known and venerated not only in the blessed Taurida, but also far beyond its borders, throughout the whole world! And this is not without reason, because in his difficult life, filled with sorrow and deprivation, the saint was a living church of the Holy Spirit, a genuine lamp of spirituality and the truth of God, a model of love for God and man.
The celebration concluded with a traditional procession, in which the saint’s relics were carried around the walls of the monastery, after which they were returned to the cathedral, where the faithful continued to venerate them for long time.
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