Remarks by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America at the Service of Agiasmos
The Saint Demetrios Preparatory School
Astoria, New York
September 16, 2022
Honorable Consul General of Greece, Mr. Konstaninos Konstantinou,
Reverend Clergy and esteemed Trustees of the School,
Beloved Students, Teachers and Parents,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
This is the time of year, when throughout Greece the Schools are blessed with the sacred Agiasmos, to commence the work of the new academic, and ecclesiastical, year.
Here at this blessèd School, a premier educational institution of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, you have the unique opportunity to master Hellenism’s greatest legacies, and to know the language of our culture.
There is so much more to Greece and its patrimony than meets the eye, especially here in Astoria, with so many pleasures of modern Greece – food, music, and the like.
Greece is a deep well-spring of civilization, reaching back nearly nine thousand years in some places. Not merely what we call Greece today, but there is Cyprus, and what was the Anatolian Coast on the Aegean and the
Pontic Coast on the Black Sea.
Your civilization is the mother of all Western Civilization, and of the values and principles that establish the world we know. Philosophy, theology, the Bible, Liturgy, science, astronomy, architecture, mathematics, poetry, drama, all the arts that the human mind could ever imagine. They all have their roots somewhere in the Greek spirit and soul.
We are grateful that here at the Saint Demetrios Preparatory School, you have the opportunity to taste these disciplines. They are like a grand banquet of unending delights, from which you can choose as many as you please, and never exhaust the supply.
In performing this Agiasmos today, I want to encourage all of you to explore the wonders of Hellenism – our culture, history and language – here at Saint Demetrios.
You are privileged to learn in a very special place – a place that is dedicated to you and to God. Your teachers are here for you in order to instruct you as best as possible and to look for your interests. May you have an enjoyable and profitable year.
Through the intercessions of your beloved Saint Demetrios and all the Saints. Amen.
Καλὴ Ἀρχή! May the Lord bless you all!