Panegyrical Episcopal Vesper for Saint Arsenios, Bishop of Corfu
On Thursday afternoon, January 18, 2018, his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands did the Panegyrical Episcopal Vesper for the Memory of Saint Arsenios of Corfu in the Church of Pantokrator of Kampielo.
Before the vesper, took place the litany of Saint’s holy Relics from the Bishop’s house, where they are kept, to the Church of Pantokrator.
The preaching was made by the General Prelatic Warden of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu, Protopresbyter Father Themistoklis Mourtzanos who talked about the honor and the worship of our Saints’ holy Relics.
In our Church, we worship our Saints’ relics because as we confess in the Symbol of Faith, we expect the resurrection of the dead. Humans are saved within the Church as whole, as psychosomatic entities, not only as souls.
For this reason, we do not burn down the bodies of the dead, we do not believe in the extinction of human existence but we believe in the communication with God and His Saints, in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Furthermore, father Themistoklis continued, by worshipping and honoring the holy Relics, we confess our faith to the arisen from the Dead, Christ. Whether we live or die, we are close to our Lord. We belong to Him.
Through the worshipping, we witness the life of the Saint who departed from the present world. The relics remind us that the Saint used his feet to preach the Gospel of Truth. He used his hands for charity and love, he used his mouth to glorify God.
Moreover, father Themistoklis pointed out that the honour and worship of the relics is under no circumstances an idolatry. Idolatry is self-praise, vanity, narcissism, in short everything that makes humans more selfish.
In his closing, father Themistoklis encouraged the loyal Christians to walk in the path of faith and salvation, through the embassies of Saint Arsenios.
At the end of the Vesper, the Bishop of Corfu mentioned that Saints are the spiritual lights in our lives as Christians.
They were just ordinary people, but with their spiritual struggle, they became seekers of God’s mercy and Christ made them homes of the Holy Spirit through the Divine Grace.
The Saints of our Faith are our ambassadors in the Heavens, continuously praying for our salvation to God.