Miami Opens the Door to Saint Sophia’s 39th Greek Festival

February 24, 2017

MIAMI – Saint Sophia’s 39th annual Greek Festival opens today and continues through Sunday, Feb. 26. The event takes place at Saint Sophia Cathedral, located at Coral Way (SW Third Ave.) and 24th Road, near Miami’s historic Roads neighborhood.

The event boasts traditional fare such as mousaka, pastitsio and gyros, Greek salads and favorite Greek pastries including baklava and honey-dipped loukoumades, plus cultural dancing and art.

Cooking and preparing food has been linked to the Greek Psyche as the art to satisfy everybody.  Food has been enriched by the encountered experience during the exploration of other lands, nations, people and Traditions.

Alexander the Great brought from his world conquers not only reaches, spices, silk, pottery and crafts, but also culinary traditions that have enriched the Greek cooking and cuisine.

Talented members of Saint Sophia children’s dance troupe celebrates their heritage with shows during the weekend featuring traditional folk dances.

Festival hours are Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free to children 12 and under.

For more information visit: http://stsophiamiamifest.weebly.com/greek-beverage.html

The cornerstone of the new Saint Sophia was laid on March 7, 1948, with His Grace Bishop Germanos officiating. The parish council retained the services of famed architect Chrystophoros P. Kantianis to design and supervise the construction of a Byzantine Church, in addition to a Community Center, which housed an auditorium/gymnasium and several classrooms.

A native of Greece and honor graduate of the University of Syracuse, Mr. Kantianis also designed and supervised construction of other Greek Churches in the United States notably Charlotte, North Carolina and Worcester, Massachusetts.

Architect Kantianis is also a Honored member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon ΔΚΕ; is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844, but 100 year after founded reborn in Syracuse University of New York by 16 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies ( Alpha Delta Phi and Psi Upsilon). They therefore formed their own fraternity to establish a fellowship “where the candidate most favored was he who combined in the most equal proportions the gentleman, the scholar, and the jolly good fellow.”

The buildings were completed and the doors were opened to the community in the year 1950. Marble for the church entrance, the pulpit, the Psaltir – chanter stand, the Bishop’s throne and the altar was brought from Pentele, Greece which is famous for its quarries. It features the same marble used for the construction of the Archeological world’s ancient attraction of Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

A few years later, the interior of the church was completed in Italy with the installation of the Iconostasis. The mosaics icons as well as the authentic byzantine beautiful iconography of Saint Sophia Church were the creation of the well known iconographer Stelios Maris in the Byzantine design which gave the most outstanding, impressive and breath taking beauty of the Greek Orthodox Churches ever build in the United States.

The Consecration of the church was carried out on November 25th, 1973 officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos and was attended by the Honorable Maurice A. Ferre, Mayor, City of Miami; the Honorable Chuck Hall, Mayor, City of Miami Beach; the Honorable Jack Orr, Mayor Miami Dade County; the Honorable Thomas E. Lee, Jr., Chief Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida; the Honorable C. Clyde Atkins, U.S. District Judge, The Southern District of Florida; the Honorable Nicholas Galifanakis; Dr. Irving Lehman, Rabbi of the Temple Emmanuel, Honorable President of Synagogue Council of America; the Rt. Reverend James L. Duncan, D.D., Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Southeast Florida; the Most Reverend Coleman F. Carrol, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami; His Excellency Ioannis A. Sorokos, Ambassador of Greece to the United States; Very Reverend Demosthenes J. Mekras, Priest, St. Sophia; The Committee of Organizer Members; Parish Council Members, dedicated Parishioners and other guests and invitees.


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