Arkalochori, Crete, Greece, July 26, 2022
The reconstruction of a church on the island of Crete that was destroyed in an earthquake last September is a great joy and “spiritual event” for the local faithful, says Metropolitan Andreas of Arkalochori.
The Church of the Prophet Elijah in the city of Arkalochori that was rocked by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake last year was restored to its former glory in less than a year.
The re-consecration is set for September 27, exactly one year after the earthquake hit, reports dogma.gr.
“The restoration of the church is a spiritual event, because the human desire of the faithful of Arkalochori and of the entire region is to see the house of the Prophet Elijah on the hill of the same name, and it expresses the Divine will as a visible blessing of Heaven on Earth,” Met. Andreas said during the Divine Liturgy on the church’s patronal fast on July 20.
Though the reconstruction was fraught with difficulties, government agencies and officials and other benefactors and volunteers worked hard to ensure the restoration of the church.
During the service, Met. Andreas spoke about how the church was initially built by Georgios Charalambakis in 1927, who had a vision while seriously ill in the ICU. An old man told him: “You’ll be fine, and you’ll go to Arkalochori. Build my house there.”
Unfortunately, Iakovos Tsagarakis, 62, who had made a vow to “save the church and preserve it,” fell from the church during the earthquake and was crushed by the rubble. May his memory be eternal!