A Divine Liturgy to celebrate the Dormition of the Virgin Mary was held at the historic monastery of Panagia Soumela in the Trebizond area on Tuesday, led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The liturgy began shortly after 10:30 am and was attended by several people. It was broadcast live by Mega TV.
In a sermon following the completion of the Liturgy, the Ecumenical Patriarch spoke of the tribulations, faith, and legacy of Hellenism, and made a special note of the Pontian Greeks, who made pilgrimages to the historic landmark on Mt. Melas and passed their cultural legacy and faith to the next generations after their displacement.
The Greek Orthodox religion carries a message of peace to the world, he said, adding that the Virgin Mary served as a comforting and motherly figure through the generations. Bartholomew also made special mention of the late Metropolitan Pavlos of Drama, who died suddenly aged 59 in 2022, and his devoted service both to the Church as well as to the Pontian Greeks. Before concluding the event, he the Ecumenical Patriarch also thanked the Turkish authorities for providing permission to conduct the liturgy at the monastery, which was given on Friday.
Panagia Soumela Monastery was built in its present form at 1860, with the addition of four-story guest rooms spanning the facade of the cave in the mountain. Its origins go back to at least the 4th century, when the site was first occupied by monks.