Memorial Banner Created In Memory of Rev. Anastasios Diakovasilis
By Catherine Tsounis
“No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death,” Plato. The One Year Memorial Tribute for Rev. Anastasios Diakovasilis, Presbyter Economos of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Flushing, New York was held on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in his church. A memorial dinner with over three hundred persons was held in Sarantakos Hall. The sentiment expressed by all was that the late priest was unique for his generation. Nor will we see anyone like him again in our lifetime. He came from the school of hard knocks. He was raised during WWII, the devastation of the Greek Civil War that no one wants to talk about and the poverty of 1950’s Greece. His refuge was religion and poetry.
Mrs. Theodora (Dora) Lagos was emotional moved by the unique one year memorial. “I wanted to do something special in his memory,” she explained in a telephone interview on April 30th, 2014. “I asked Father Paul Palesty for guidance. He was most supportive, instructing me in the right choice of buying a Banner of the Ascension in memory of Father Anastasios. Through Father Paul’s support, we ordered a banner from the Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Australia. I mentioned my idea to all. Persons and organizations from his island of Nysiros and his friends from the community were happy to support me. I was honored and happy to work with these persons. Their donations made this banner possible to see something special in Father Anastasios’ name in St. Nicholas Church.”
Mrs. Lagos continued saying “the banner cost five thousand and was hand delivered on Good Friday, April 18th. The banner is hand embroidered with gold thread.
We raised thirteen thousand, three hundred and seventy-five dollars. The remainder of the funds will be used to place the banner in a frame in front of the church with a twenty-four hour burning candili (votive lamp).”
Presvitera Maria Diakovasilis said “Mrs. Lagos called me into church on Good Friday to see the banner.” The community of St. Nicholas had the honor of viewing the richly embroidered banner of the Ascension prominently displayed in front of the altar during the Easter liturgies. Mrs. Theodora Lagos was the motivating force behind this unique memorial in memory of a humble presbyter. She believes “he gave warmth to the sick and lonely person,” (https://usa.greekreporter.com/2013/01/24/rev-anastasios-diakovasilis-one-year-memorial-service). His wife, Presvitera Maria, shared in the success of his ministry. Knowing a Greek born priest, with old-fashion values, evokes memories of one’s lost youth with one’s parents or grandparents. The late Rev. Anastasios Diakovasilis’ sympathy, compassion and positive attitude will remain with all who had the honor of knowing him.
Photo 1- Ascension Banner, richly embroidered gold threads.
Photo 2 – The late Rev. Anastasios and Presvitera Maria Diakovasilis.