His Eminence visited the Church of Santa Xenia and the hermitage of San Ignacio in Guatemala for the feast days of both saints, accompanied by a small group of pilgrims.
They arrived in Guatemala on the eve of the feast of Saint Xenia and served a vigil service which lasted through the middle of the night. In the morning a hierarchical liturgy was served and His Eminence ordained the monk Ignatius (whom he tonsured during the vigil) to the Diaconate.
After the liturgy and procession with the icon of Saint Xenia, a festive meal was served for the faithful.
The Church in Guatemala and Latin America was founded by His Eminence over twelve years ago. He spent time speaking with the faithful, reminiscing on the first years, which were difficult years, and stressed that all glory and thanksgiving should be ascribed to The Lord: “Except The Lord build a house, in vain do we labor...”.
Afterwards, His Eminence visited the hermitage and met with the faithful of Santa Cruz, Barberena, in preparation for the feast of Saint Ignatius the God-bearer, patron of the hermitage.
A vigil service was conducted and in the morning, a hierarchical liturgy. Hierodeacon Ignatius was elevated to the priesthood. His Eminence baptized ten people on that day.
Priestmonk Ignacio is now a member of the hermitage brotherhood. May God grant him to be a God-pleasing monk, living the blessed life of obedience.
Priestmonk Maximos has been working diligently in setting up the coffee plantation with the help of the local villagers who know their work well.
During the Guatemala trip, Father Evangelos of Cuba contacted His Eminence to discuss matters involving the church in Cuba. His Eminence changed his return ticket to spend a couple of days in Cuba. There, they decided to buy an affordable home which would be a permanent place of worship. Father Evangelos’ son, who is a construction worker, will be able to help convert the home to a church. While there, the Metropolitan spoke with representatives of another community of around eighty to ninety people who are interested in joining The Church.
We ask the faithful to continue to pray for our growing Latin American Church, especially during the upcoming blessed days of Great Lent.
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