Translated by Nadezhda Filipchik for OCP News Service – 10/11/16
Belarus: The right hand of St Demetrius of Thessaloniki is touring Belarus for veneration. These days the Greek delegation headed by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Veria and Naoussa is on a visit with the relics in the capital and few cities of the central and eastern Belarus. The relics are in Belarus as part of the celebrations of the feast of St Demetrius.
The relics of St Demetrius of Thessaloniki are now kept in the Church of Saint Demetrius located in Thessaloniki. In the 13th century, when the city was attacked by the crusaders, the relics were taken to Western Europe and was kept in the abbey of the Italian town of San Lorenzo in Campo. In 1978 the relics of St Demetrius were returned back to its native city of Thessaloniki.
The citizens of Minsk, Bobruisk, Polotsk, and Vitebsk have already venerated the relics. Hereafter the Greek delegation is going to visit one more Belorussian town – Orsha. Besides visiting various Belorussian cities, the program of the Greek delegation will also visit the main parishes in the Belorussian capital and will take part in various meetings. Among them are the meetings with the Belorussian monks (as there are monks from the various monasteries of the Veria Metropolitan in the delegation). Speaking with the journalists, Christodula, the hegumen of the All Hallows Monastery of the Veria Metropolitan said: “The love we felt here touched our hearts. People ask us to bless them when they heard that we are monks and nuns from Greece and that our Metropolitan is here with us. We learn this love from you in order to treat people with the same great hospitality.”