Saint Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine Welcomes Community at fourth Annual Christmas Open House




Saint Augustine, FL:  In the afternoon of Sunday, December 11, His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Hierarchal Proistamenos of the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine welcomed hundreds of supporters, friends, and visitors from throughout the nation during the festive 4th Annual Christmas Open House in the courtyard of the shrine.

Talented Greek folk dancers, dressed in traditional Greek costumes from the Holy Trinity Church in Daytona Beach, FL enlivened historic St. George Street with a number of traditional folk dances.  According to custom, children accompanied Greek Christmas carols playing the triangle.  All enjoyed the traditional Greek foods while music continued through the afternoon.

The opening prayer and ceremonies, celebrated by Bishop Demetrios who was assisted by Very Rev. Archimandrite Maximos Politis, Pastor of the Holy Trinity Church of St. Augustine, FL, and Rev. Fr. Sebastian Mot, associate pastor of St. John the Divine Church of Jacksonville, FL, were livestreamed on Facbook.  St. Photios Foundation, Inc. board member and Archon Nicholas J. Furris represented the Order of St. Andrew.

Polexeni Maouris Hillier, Executive Director of the St. Photios Shrine noted that, “This is the fourth year we have opened the Shrine to the public for a Christmas Open House.  This is truly a tradition that will continue the 2nd Saturday of each December for as one guest noted to one of the dancers- ‘thank you for sharing your culture with me – I feel the love and joy of the season.’  Kai tou chronou!

Bishop Demetrios stated that, “Our hospitality included the sharing of food and beverages as well as the age-old Greek custom of decorating our own ‘St Photios’ karavaki , sharing these Greek holiday traditions with our guests.”

The Koimisis Tis Theotokou Philoptochos Society of the Holy Trinity Church in St. Augustine, FL, hosted the occasion, which was co-chaired by Irene Pergeorelis and Stephanie Danikas.

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