Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Holy Hierarchs

According to our Holy Orthodox Tradition behind and around the Altar we paint icons depicting Holy Hierarchs, Bishops of the Church, who are in a symbolic way concelebrating with the celebrant clergyman the Divine Liturgy.

There are obviously many Hierarch Saints in the Orthodox Church. Choosing the ones that would fit in our own Church is an interesting task.

We usually select the Three Holy Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers, St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory the Theologian.

Then we may choose some more that we are particularly related to, for various reasons. In our Church apart from the Three Great Hierarchs, we have chosen St. Nicholas, St. Spyridon and St. Peter Bishop of Argos.

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Holy Napkin on the top of the Sanctuary apse

It is up there. And looks fantastic. The Holy Napkin, painted by Theodoros Vogdanos, on the top of our Sanctuary apse, accompanied by two exceptionally beautiful angels. [Photos by Panayiotis Christou].

The story of the Holy Napkin is as follows:

When the fame of our Lord Jesus Christ came to Abgar, the ruler of Edessa, who was suffering from leprosy, Abgar sent a messenger named Ananias, through him asking the Savior to heal him of his disease, while bidding Ananias bring back a depiction of Him.

When Ananias came to Jerusalem, and was unable to capture the likeness of our Lord, He, the Knower of hearts, asked for water, and having washed His immaculate and divine face, wiped it dry with a certain cloth, which He gave to Ananias to take to Abgar; the form of the Lord's face had been wondrously printed upon the cloth.

As soon as Abgar received the cloth, which is called the Holy Napkin (Mandylion in Greek), he reverenced it with joy, and was healed of his leprosy; only his forehead remained afflicted.

After the Lord's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, the Apostle Thaddaeus came to Edessa, and when he had baptized Abgar and all his men, Abgar's remaining leprosy also was healed.

Abgar had the holy image of our Savior fixed to a board and placed at the city gate, commanding that all who entered the city reverence it as they passed through.

The Holy Napkin remained in Edessa, even after the Arabs conquered it, until the year 944, when it was brought with honor and triumph to Constantinople in the reign of Romanus I, when Theophylact was Ecumenical Patriarch.

The Holy Napkin was enshrined in the Church of the most holy Theotokos called the Pharos.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Virgin Platytera and the Angels

Today our Holy Sanctuary apse looks amazing. The Virgin Platytera has now a golden halo, the appropriate background colour as well as the right inscription.

On either side of the Platytera’s head the iconographer Theodoros Vogdanos has painted a flying angel with open wings and in very bright colours.

Each one of those angels holds a scroll, which contains words and phrases (in Greek) from the Service of the Salutations to Blessed Virgin Mary!

The scroll of the angel on the left reads: «Rejoice, shelter of the world that is wider than the cloud»! The scroll of the angel on the right reads: «Rejoice, for you hold the One who holds everything»!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

St. Panteleimon FC

Today it was a very beatufil and sunny day in London. It was also an historic day for our Community. A Football Team has been established with the name of “St. Panteleimon FC”! It will compete at the Cypriot Football League of London, called KOPA!

This endeavour will bring together many people who love the “Beautiful Game”, especially the young generation!

We look forward to welcome all young men and ladies who would like to assist in many different ways, either by playing in the Team, or helping to manage it, or assisting in organising the administration.

We are honoured to have Gary Karsa as the Manager. He was No. 2 Manager at Aston Villa (English Premiership) until recently.

George Frantzeskou will be the Chairman, Chris Andreou the Vice-Chairman, Soteris Merentitis the Public Relations Officer, and Dr. Serafim Kiriakidis & Andreas Hadjithemistou will be members of the Committee.

Savvas Andreou & Panayiotis Argyrou will be the senior sponsors.

We invite all those who would like to play a part in this new and inspiring endeavour to come forward and talk to our Parish Priest Fr. Anastasios, who had actually initiated this whole process.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Virgin Platytera accompanied

The work continuous at our Holy Sanctuary apse. Platytera looks marvellous in her traditional place, at the centre of the apse.  

On either side of Virgin Mary we have painted icons of our Patron Saints, the Great Martyrs Saint Panteleimon and Saint Paraskevi. They both look very beautiful.

Two exceptionally fine angelic figures are also painted on the top of the Platytera’s area, offering salutations to her.

The bright colours, the eyes of all Saints, the inscriptions on the icons, the names of the sponsors, are all so fascinating. A real revelation from above.

The Virgin Platytera, the Holy Angels and our Patron Saints have visited our Church in person. And they are here to stay!