TORONTO – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada celebrated with great joy the feast of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, one of the most beloved saints of the Church.
His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios presided over both Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgy at the celebrating community of St. Nicholas in Toronto.
On Saturday evening, His Eminence was joined by His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Patara, who is the Dean of the Patriarchal Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy; they were assisted by the V. Rev. Fr. Ignatios Delis.
Despite the pandemic restrictions that limits attendance to only 10 people inside each church, both holy services were conducted as in previous years to rightly honor St. Nicholas. His icon and a piece of his holy relics were on display for the visiting faithful to venerate; however, they were placed in the front of the Church (narthex) so that the people could venerate them and leave.
The restrictions did not stop pious Christians from coming to church, lighting a candle, doing their cross, asking Christ to display His great mercy through the intercessions of the Saint and the Panagia.
During the Divine Liturgy, the Archbishop and Fr. Ignatios were assisted by Dn. Evdokimos. Although indoor limits were adhered to, many faithful displayed inspiring faith, waiting outside during the Liturgy in order to receive Holy Communion within physical distance measures.
The Archbishop provided the rest of the faithful with heartfelt words of encouragement through the live broadcast that were seen by thousands of people across the country and around the world. His Eminence emphasized that we should never despair, but always trust in the love and divine providence of God.
The Archdiocese declared: “May we all strengthen and intensify our prayer and ask with humility that St. Nicholas and our Panagia intercede to Jesus Christ so that the current pandemic will be conquered and Christians allowed to celebrate both His Incarnation and the Holy Theophany in greater freedom.”