ASTORIA – The faithful gathered once again for the feast day of St. Irene Chrysovalantou on July 28 which included the procession of the miraculous icon, and the festival which began on July 26 in Astoria.
The official representative of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was His Eminence Metropolitan of Chicago Nathanael, who presided over the Divine Liturgy during which he read a message from the Patriarch, who sent his warm greetings to the Greek community.
In his address, the presiding priest of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou, His Grace Bishop Ierotheos of Efkarpia, referred to the importance of the feast and called on the Greek community to always support the Holy Monastery, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
At the same time, he praised Metropolitan Nathanael, referring to his ethos and his young age, noting that he would like to see him more often at St. Irene and not just as the representative of the Patriarch.
The procession of the miraculous icon of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in the heart of “Greek” Astoria followed the Divine Liturgy. Then, everyone returned to the church, while on the 23rd Avenue and 36th Street, stalls and tables were set up for the festival.
The faithful had the opportunity to choose from favorite Greek dishes, such as gyro and souvlaki, as well as sweets including loukoumades which are always a highlight of any Greek festival.