On Saturday evening, February 18, 2017, the eve of the Feast of St. Philothei the Righteous Martyr of Athens, a vigil was held at the chapel dedicated to her memory at the Church of St. Nicholas in Toronto.
His Eminence performed the Divine Liturgy alone, as a simple priest, because the brother clergymen had performed the Divine Liturgy in the morning for the Saturday of Souls. The priests chanted the Liturgy as one – it was a very devout, nightly vigil. His Grace Bishop Christoforos was in the altar praying.
Hundreds of people attended the Divine Liturgy, including Mrs. Sapfo Rassias, the President of the Philoptochos in Canada. She was joined by the presidents and many members of the Philoptochos chapters.
Very simply in both Greek and English did Metropolitan Sotirios speak about the hagiography of St. Philothei, asking everyone to imitate her life – especially during these days when our society faces so many challenges – particularly her strong faith in Christ and almsgiving.
Following the Divine Liturgy, a dinner organized by the Metropolis Philoptochos Council of Canada, with the assistance of the Community of St. Nicholas, was offered to everyone in the parish hall. There were a few short speeches delivered there, including by Mrs. Rassias. His Eminence closed the rich and spiritual evening with words of thanks to the organizers, the Reverend Fathers, the President of the Philoptochos in Canada, Parish Priest Fr. Fanourios Pappas and the Community President Mrs. A. Sotiropoulos.
Metropolitan Sotirios wished everyone to make use of the Triodion and Holy and Great Lent for spiritual advancement. He closed by glorifying God for the wonderful work which is conducted by the Philoptochos across Canada.