THESSALONIKI – Crowds and officials gathered in Thessaloniki for the celebration of the October 26 feast day of St. Demetrios the Myrrh-streamer, the patron saint of the city, which included the procession of the icon of the saint and his relics, the icon of the Virgin Mary of the Mount of Olives, and a piece of the Holy Cross. The liberation of the city on October 26, 1912 during the Balkan Wars and the national Oxi Day holiday were also celebrated.
His Eminence Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki presided over the Divine Liturgy in the morning.
The icons and relics were carried by military vehicles, while the procession, accompanied by the clergy, the police and the Army and Navy, followed the route from St. Demetriou Street, Venizelos, Olympus and Peloponnesus, and ended back at the Church of the patron saint of Thessaloniki.
Earlier, during the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Anthimos referred to the devotion and dedication of the faithful to St. Demetrios, but also to their participation in the great feast with Holy Myrrh, which takes place one week after the feast of the saint. As he said, in the ceremony of Holy Myrrh he opens the shrine and blesses the saints and the relics in a “spiritual splendor” which, as he said, “honors our people, our tradition, our faith, the absolute tradition of our soul in the hands of the saint.”
In the context of the celebrations, presentations were held in the schools of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and a feast followed later on in the day to honor St. Demetrios.