Historic Church of St. George in Lynn, MA Vandalized

The vandalized icon of St. George in the outside narthex of the nave. (Photo Courtesy Fr. George Tsoukalas)

BOSTON – An individual or individuals unknown thus far vandalized the historic church of St. George in Lynn, Massachusetts on Sunday morning September 8.

Two of the church’s icons in the outdoor outer narthex of the nave depicting the holy image of the Virgin Mary and one depicting Saint George, who is the patron saint of the parish, were defaced with graffiti that made references to the devil and to anarchy. There was graffiti on the front wall of the nave and spray-painted symbols of an upside down cross, the number 666, and an A with a circle, which represents anarchy.

During a telephone interview Father George Tsoukalas, who has been presiding priest for 23 years, said that “the first one who saw the vandalism was John Meklis, former president of the Parish Council on Sunday morning and he notified me immediately.” Fr. George added that, “we don’t know exactly when the vandalism occurred or who did it.”

The vandalized front wall of the nave of St. George. (Photo Courtesy Fr. George Tsoukalas)

Fr. George also said that “the police came, also the mayor of the city of Lynn, Mr. Thomas M. McGee, who was very sad and said that this is an act not only against the church but against the entire Community of Lynn.”

Asked how much the damage is estimated to cost, Fr. George said “fortunately I have here the iconographer Alexander Milan who came with special spray and he cleaned the icons, but the difficult part is the wall. A special company will come to clean it.”

St. George of Lynn has one of the most glorious naves in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. During the Labor Day weekend the parish had organized its annual Greek Festival which is a major cultural event for the entire city of Lynn and the surrounding Communities.

The Greek Orthodox community in Lynn was incorporated on April 5, 1905. A pioneer group of Greek immigrants established the church for the purpose of perpetrating their religious and cultural heritage, which has since grown into one of the largest religious congregations, not only in the city of Lynn, but also in the Greek Archdiocese of America.

Fr. George Tsoukalas with parish council president Arthur Argyros in front of the vandalized icon of the Mother of God. (Photo Courtesy Fr. George Tsoukalas)