Hierarchs and parents hailing miracle of Greek soldiers’ release from Turkish prison

Athens, August 17, 2018

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After five months of unjustified custody in a maximum security Turkish prison, two Greek soldiers were released on August 14, the eve of the new calendar feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Many, including the soldiers’ families and several Orthodox hierarchs are praising their release as a miracle of the Mother of God.

Dimitris Kouklatzis and Angelos Mitretodis were joyfully reunited with their parents after being released.

“On the eve of the Dormition of the Theotokos we are living a miracle which we never ceased to believe in, not for a moment. We wholeheartedly thank God, the Theotokos, the political and military leadership that did not stop, not for a moment, fighting for the return of Dimitris and Angelos” Nikos Kouklatzis, Dimitris’ father said, according to Greek City Times.

“We thank the parents from all over the world that joined their prayers with ours for all of these months for the return of our children,” he added.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry released a statement welcoming the release of the two Greek soldiers, expressing hope that Turkey’s goodwill gesture will help improve relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, several hierarchs from around the Greek-speaking Orthodox world have expressed their gratitude for the grace of God and the prayers of the Theotokos in this instance.

Having learned of their release while serving Vespers for the feast of the Dormition, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew preached, “My brothers, it seems that the Panagia, on the occasion of her feast, wanted to send us a great gift. I have just been informed that the two soldiers who were detained for 5 months in Adrianople without an indictment have been released,” reports vimaorthodoxias.gr.

His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria also offered thanks from Cairo, reports Romfea. In particular, he said, “We thank the Panagia tonight. Today, all Greeks are so happy that our children have been released… The Panagia has Jesus Christ and these blessed ones in her arms tonight.”

As vimaorthodoxias.org also reports, His Eminence Metropolitan Paul of Sisanion and Siatista joined his voice to the chorus: “It was not any political transaction that achieved this. The situation is clear. The Panagia spoke into the heart of the Turkish president.

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