By Areti Kotseli
Last Sunday an Orthodox Episcopal service was held in the historical church of Holy Trinity in the Hungarian city Kecskemét celebrated by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria- Exarch of Hungary and Middle Europe Arsenios , for the first time in 100 years. Kecskemét is known for its strong Hellenic presence during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Greek Ambassador in Hungary, Spyridon Georgile, attended the service.
The Metropolitan Arsenios pointed out the great significance of that event for the Exarchy of Hungary and also referred to the need for bolstering its activity. He asked for the support of the Greeks of Hungary in order to preserve the historical memories of the city, as well as to enhance the contemporary presence of the Ecumenical Patriarchy in Hungary.
The Greek Ambassador also called on the Greeks who live in Hungary to preserve that tradition and wished them good luck during the effort to revive Hellenism.
The restoration of the church of Holy Trinity in Kecskemét started back in 1823 – almost the same time that the Greek War of Independence burst forth (1821) – by Greeks, who were merchants in the wider area of Austria-Hungary.
Last day’s Episcopal service, which was attended by many representatives of Greek departments, was followed by a tour in the chambers of the small Ecclesiastical Museum of the Church, where important relics and icons are exposed. The tour went on in the chamber where the Library of the great Greek scholar Georgios Zambiras is kept.
Last Saturday, the Greek Ambassador in Hungary and the Metropolitan Arsenios attended a ceremony of the Greek diaspora in the city of Sentendre, where they gave speeches on the Greek assistance during the Hungarian revolution of 1848.