Greek village celebrates St. Basil the Great with procession with wonderworking icon and relics

Megali Panagia, Chalkidiki, Greece, January 3, 2024

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The Orthodox faithful of the village of Megali Panagia in Chalkidiki peninsula festively celebrated the memory of St. Basil the Great on January 1, carrying a wonderworking icon and a piece of the relics of the Holy Hierarch in procession.

The day began with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Metropolitan Theoklitos of Ierissos, Mt. Athos, and Ardameri and local clergy at the Church of St. Basil the Great in Megali Panagia, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.

Following the Liturgy, a doxology was served for the new year and the traditional Vasilopita bread was blessed and cut.

Then a grand procession was held, with a wonderworking icon of St. Basil and a piece of his relics being carried throughout the village.

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On the occasion of the New Year and the feast of St. Basil, who wrote his famous Hexaemeron about the creation of the world, including the creation of time and space, Met. Theoklitos offered a homily about how time and space are gifts of God to man:

The future life is the echo of the present. What you build with your hands, your feet, your tongue, your mind, and your heart here in the space where you were born and live and move and in the time God has gifted you, that absolutely determines the afterlife. Did you find your brother? You found God! Did you open your arms for your brother? You found the embrace of God! Did you build Paradise here? You won Paradise there! Did you build Hell within you here? You met and continued Hell there! That’s why the Fathers of our Church say that space and time are gifts of God and opportunities and materials, with which in this life, the future is built. Space and time, then, as the Letter to Diognetus states, bring you either Hell or Paradise. Because in this life, we are temporary, sojourners, and passersby. As Christians, we do not have and do not possess a permanent city where we live, but the future City of God—this we seek. Thus, it is high time to awake out of sleep (Rom. 13:11), to find God, to serve our brother, and to build Paradise!

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