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Τρίτη, 13 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

FEAST OF ST. NICHOLAS CELEBRATED IN THE SNOW AT SWEDEN’S NEWLY RE-ESTABLISHED GREEK ORTHODOX MONASTERY RÄTTVIK, Sweden (Sun., December 4, 2016) –



FEAST OF ST. NICHOLAS CELEBRATED IN THE SNOW
AT SWEDEN’S NEWLY RE-ESTABLISHED GREEK ORTHODOX MONASTERY
RÄTTVIK, Sweden (Sun., December 4, 2016) –
His Eminence Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia presided over the Divine Liturgy today at the St. Nicholas Hermitage in the northern Swedish city of Rättvik, followed by a memorial service for the hermitage’s founder, the ever-memorable Hieromonk Eusebios Vittis. Joining in the serves were the local Metropolis clergy and members of the local Church. The Very Rev. Fr. Alexander Loukatos, Pastor of the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation in Oslo, delivered the sermon of the day, while Metropolitan Cleopas expressed his hopes and prayers that the hermitage will soon open its doors to house its own devoted and worthy monastic brotherhood.
The previous day, December 3rd, Metropolitan Cleopas officiated the service of Great Vespers.


Following the Sunday Divine Liturgy, a luncheon was offered for the entire congregation, many of whom came from as far as the cities of Stockholm, Uppsala, and Västerås. The annual pilgrimage to the monastery, which celebrates the feast of its patron saint on December 6th, was organized by Ms. Christina Chrysovergi, whom the Metropolitan thanked for her many years of dedication to her spiritual father of blessed memory, Elder Eusebios Vittis, and her multifaceted support of the hermitage’s ministry up through the present day. He also thanked Mr. George Tzanis for the preparation of the meal, which was made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor in memory of his late brother Nicholas.


In attendance at the services celebrating the patron saint of the hermitage were iconographer Mr. Michael Androutsos of Ioannina, Greece and his associates Messrs. Demetrios Androutsos and Spyridon Metsis, who made the trip to install the icons of Sts. John Chrysostom, Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great, Spyridon of Trimythous patron of Corfu, Dionysios of Aegina patron of Zakynthos, and Gerasimos patron of Cephalonia inside the Holy Altar, as well as the icon of Christ on the bishop’s throne – all of which they personally handcrafted. The Estavromenos (Jesus on the Cross) located inside the Holy Altar and the icons on the holy screen were also produced by them. Metropolitan Cleopas congratulated the iconographers in attendance for the uplifting application of their talents and thanked them for making the effort to come all the way from Greece to visit the monastery and adorn it with their artwork.


The hermitage was established by the ever-memorable Fr. Eusebios Vittis in 1973. Following his permanent return to Greece in 1980 and falling asleep in the Lord in 2009, the upkeep of the hermitage was undertaken by the Association of Friends of the Hermitage, also known as “The Orthodox Brotherhood of St. Nicholas.” The Hermitage was completely destroyed by a fire in October 2010, and after its reconstruction, it remained vacant until October 2014, when it was transferred to the Holy Metropolis of Sweden, which undertook its complete renovation and fully equipped it to meet the spiritual and religious needs of its mission. This hermitage is the first Greek Orthodox monastery in Sweden and throughout all Scandinavia.



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