The miraculous icon of Panagia Soumela, which is located in Vermio, Veria, Greece, was transported today to Cyprus for pilgrimage, blessing and sanctification at the Metropolitan Church of Agios Georgios in Paralimni.
Accompanied by the Metropolitan of Veria, Naoussa and Campania Panteleimon, the image arrived around 13.30 at noon and at Larnaca airport it was welcomed by the Metropolitans of Constantia - Famagusta Vassilios and Kiti Chrysostomos while the President of the Republic was represented by Fr. Metropolitan Vassilios expressed his gratitude to Metropolitan Panteleimon for responding to his invitation to transfer to Cyprus the miraculous image "to bless the people of God".
He added that "the icon of Panagia Soumela is a religious symbol and pilgrimage, while for us it is a national symbol since it was transported by the Greek Pontians who lived in the area of Trabzon, when they were forced to leave the area." He also said that Panagia Soumela "is a national symbol because it is associated with the refugee since the Virgin Mary herself is a refugee from Soumela. For those of us who live the drama of the refugees, of the Cypriots who come from the occupied area, the Virgin Mary is the pre-eminent protector of the refugees. "At the same time, she wished that the Virgin Mary would help to find a proper just solution to the Cyprus problem. so that the refugees can all return and honor the Virgin Mary and her respect, which exists in the occupied area of our homeland ".
The Metropolitan of Veria, Naoussa and Campania Panteleimon stated that responding to the invitation of Metropolitan Constantia "we transferred with great joy and great reverence, the image of Panagia Soumeliotissa from Mount Vermio of our Holy Metropolis, to the heroic and heroic He added that "Our Lady, in addition to her many names and her Grace, is the great refugee since she also followed the people of God when in 1922 they left their homeland there and entered the refuge. We have the joy and the blessing to have Panagia Soumela on Mount Vermio where her new monastery is and from there to give the blessing to the Pontians everywhere and not only, to all the Greeks and to all the Orthodox who turn to her to draw strength and courage through the daily difficulties of life ". We wish continued," the Virgin Mary with her arrival in Cyprus, to give to this island but also to every believer who will worship her, rich grace and blessing ". The Metropolitan of Kiti Chrysostomos thanked the Metropolitan of Veria "for this precious treasure that he brings to our homeland". He also thanked Metropolitan Constantias who asked him to pick up the icon of the Virgin Mary and hand it over to him to take to his flock, as the icon to go to Paralimni passes through the Diocese of Kiti. He added that "today I bow reverently the offspring in front of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ. I ask all the people to do the same and to ask Her to be an ambassador to the Lord and to tell Her Son to cast His loving gaze on this island, to see our pain, our suffering, our misery, the our foolishness and our great mistakes and forgive us repentant. To give redemption to our people and soon the lines of Attila to open, the walls of disgrace to fall and our free world to walk again in its homes, in its land, in the land of its fathers and to give us the joy to go again in the more than 500 mute and dysfunctional churches that we have in the north of our country ". The Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Fotis Fotiou said that" it is with great emotion, respect and great honor that today we welcome the miraculous image of Panagia Soumela " At the same time, he thanked "on behalf of the President of the Republic, the government and the whole state, Metropolitan Constantia - Famagusta for his efforts to bring the miraculous and blessed image to Cyprus today and the Metropolitans of Kiti and Veria who are with us today. He added that "really we all wish with the power of Our Lady to be able to overcome these difficult times as a people the greatproblems we face. Above all, however, since this image is also a national symbol, it is time that we should all try to end the occupation in our homeland, for the refugees to return to their homes and it is time that we should reunite our homeland. The miraculous icon of Panagia Soumela arrived in Cyprus as part of the celebrations for the patron saint of the Diocese of Constantia - Famagusta, Agios Epiphanios, Bishop of Constantia who is honored on May 12. The official reception of the icon will take place at 18.30 this afternoon at Metropolitan Church of Agios Georgios, where it will remain for pilgrimage until Saturday, May 16, 2015. Source: KYPE / APE