Warsaw, February 6, 2023
The Polish Orthodox Church was doubly honored at a two-part state ceremony on Friday, February 3, recognized for its humanitarian work and the importance of two medieval monasteries.
In the first part of the ceremony, seven Church activists in the field of social aid and activities, including several who work with the Church’s ELEOS charitable service, were honored by Secretary of State Wojciech Kolarski on behalf of President Andrzej Duda, reports the press service of the Polish Church.
ELEOS has been sending aid to Ukraine and helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland since the war began in February. In the spring, the Orthodox Church in America raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that were then donated to ELEOS to help Ukrainians.
Distributing the awards, Secretary Kolarski emphasized that the Church’s charitable activities have always been noticed and appreciated by the presidential administration.
In the second, more public ceremony, attended by President Duda and members of the presidential cabinet, nine objects were awarded the honorary title of Monument of History, including two 15th-century monasteries of the Polish Orthodox Church.
The head of state noted that although Poland belongs to western civilization, due to its location, it united Byzantine civilization and art with Western Europe, in which Polish Orthodoxy played an important part. He recalled his time spent at Supraśl and encouraged the Polish people to go pray there.
“Monument of History” is one of the five forms of monument protection in Poland, and is conferred upon objects of special value for national culture. Since 1994, Polish presidents have added 123 objects to the list.