Deisis (Novogorod)

Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios Concludes Visit to the Orthodox Church of Slovakia

NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios concluded a four-day visit to Slovakia on June 17, during which he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Presov. Bishop Savas of Troas and Archdeacon Panteleimon accompanied His Eminence on this trip.

The visit began on Sunday June 13, when Archbishop Demetrios concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov and Sts. Cyril and Methodios in the city of Bardejov, with His Beatitude Archbishop Christopher of Prague and all Czechia and Slovakia, His Eminence Metropolitan John of Presov, His Grace Bishop Savas of Troas and His Grace Bishop Paisios of Goritze (Poland).

Following the Liturgy, a blessing ceremony for the new church bell tower was held. Later the Mayor of Bardejov Dr. Boris Hanuscak had a very warm welcome and an informative discussion with His Eminence in City Hall. In the afternoon, Archbishop Demetrios accompanied by Archbishop Christopher and Metropolitan John, visited the “Wooden Home,” an important local museum and the small chapel there dedicated to the Three Hierarchs, where a local choir performed religious songs and hymns.

On Monday June 14, the University of Presov bestowed upon Archbishop Demetrios an Honorary Doctorate of Theology during a touching ceremony attended by many members of the academic community of Slovakia, the dean of the School of Theology Rev. Dr. John Zozulak, other officials, faculty members and many students and guests.  That evening Archbishop Demetrios paid an official visit to Metropolitan John of Presov and Slovakia at the diocesan headquarters. The two church leaders discussed the challenges the Orthodox Churches face in America and in Slovakia.

On Tuesday June 15, the Archbishop delivered an address as part of the Biblical conference organized by the School of Theology at the University of Presov entitled “The Social Work of the Church.” In the evening the Archbishop at the invitation of Metropolitan John of Presov visited the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky during the vespers service and offered a short address to the congregation.

On Wednesday June 16, His Eminence with Bishop Savas and Archdeacon Panteleimon escorted by Dean John Zozulak and church officials visited three parishes in the towns of Svidnik, Stropkov and Medzilaborce, situated in an area of fierce battles during Word War II. In the town of Medzilaborce the Archbishop visited the Orthodox orphanage of St. Nicholas, which offers a very impressive service to the approximately 80 children enrolled.

Upon his return from this trip Archbishop Demetrios expressed his deep appreciation and high esteem for the people of the Orthodox Church in Slovakia who offer a strong witness of the healing and constructive power of the faith, especially in view of the extremely hard times and persecutions they went through for decades.

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Troparion of the Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * revealing as much of Your glory to Your Disciples as they could behold. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light also shine upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You. (August 6th)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Demons often transform themselves into angels of light and take the form of martyrs, and make it appear to us during sleep that we are in communication with them. Then, when we wake up, they plunge us into unholy joy and conceit. But you can detect their deceit by this very fact. For angles reveal torments, judgments and separations; and when we wake up we find that we are trembling and sad. As soon as we begin to believe the demons in dreams, then they make sport of us when we are awake too. He who believes in dreams is completely inexperienced. 'But he who distrusts all dreams is a wise man. Only believe dreams that warn you of torments and judgments. But if despair afflicts you, then such dreams are also from demons.

St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent