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United States

Panagia Soumela Annual Pilgrimage Celebrated on August 15-16

WEST MILFORD, NJ – The Greek community celebrated the Dormition of the Theotokos, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Protectress of the Pontians, Panagia Soumela, on August 15 and 16 during the annual Pilgrimage of the Holy Institution Panagia Soumela established by the Pontian Society of America & Canada.

A statement posted on the Holy Institution Panagia Soumela Facebook page on August 15 read, “Today, we honor the memory of the respected metastasis of our blessed glorious Lady, the Virgin Mary and everlasting Mary. Today celebrates all Orthodox Greeks, all of Romiosíni, Christians and Crypto-Christians. We wish and pray that Pantanassa Soumeliotissa gives all her pilgrims health, joy and prosperity and have all their loved ones under her protection. We wish and pray that Pantanassa Soumeliotissa gives peace, security and progress to our homeland, freedom to Pontus and peaceful coexistence to all peoples of the earth.”

The organization wished all the best to everyone and invited all to attend the Pilgrimage at Panagia Soumela of the New World, as the church is named, and noted that it a “place of meeting and prayer, in the sacred area of spiritual and mental uplift.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pilgrimage followed strict safety measures with the faithful wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in accordance with the all state rules.

His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey presided over the services. Young people in traditional Pontian costume were among those in attendance at this year’s Pilgrimage.

The services were also available via Facebook Live for those unable to attend in person. The videos may still be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HolyInstitutionPanagiaSoumela/videos/3583253258369826/

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