Patras celebrates its patron St. Andrew, pilgrims come to venerate his skull and cross (+VIDEOS)

Patras, Greece, November 30, 2023

The skull and cross of St. Andrew at the cathedral in Patras. Photo: The skull and cross of St. Andrew at the cathedral in Patras. Photo:     

Patras, Greece, home to the cross upon which the First-Called Apostle St. Andrew was crucified, festively celebrated its patron saint yesterday and today.

The feast began last night with Great Vespers at the Church of St. Andrew. The service was presided over by Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Chalkida, with the concelebration of another eight hierarchs of the Greek Church, including the local hierarch Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.

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The church was filled with Orthodox faithful from Patras and throughout Greece who came to venerate St. Andrew’s Cross and the portion of his relics housed at the cathedral.

The All-Night Vigil was celebrated later that evening.

This morning, a number of hierarchs again gathered for the celebration of Orthros and the Divine Liturgy in honor of St. Andrew. Orthros was presided over by Metropolitan Theoklitos of Ierissos, Mt. Athos, and Ardameri. The Liturgy was then led by Metroplitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpakto and Agios Vlasios.

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Hundreds of Orthodox faithful again filled the church.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia delivered homily sermon, in which, among other things, he referred to the personality and contribution of the Apostle Andrew, who resisted the idols promoted by his era, to spread the Gospel of Christ. In particular, His Eminence spoke about the present times and the trap of false idols that are presented, and about the dangers arising from the false family models that are advanced today. “We haven’t realized the negative consequences. When we do, it may be too late to reverse any possibility of change,” he said.

Following the Liturgy, a doxology was celebrated. Met. Chrysostomos of Patras thanked his brother hierarchs who joined in the service and implored the faithful to pray for those suffering the wars that plague the Holy Land and in Ukraine, where the Apostle Andrew himself walked.

The festivities concluded with a procession with the skull of St. Andrew through the central city streets.

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