Finally a mass in the church of Saint Nicholas in Myra
The church in the city of
The church’s origins go back to the IV century when Nicholas was the bishop of the city Demre, then known as
And just like that, for years no celebrations have been permitted, nor even prayers. Just guided tours after having purchased a ticket from the Turkish Tourism Agency, like a normal entry to any museum.
This, however, has never discouraged the faithful, the locals or the pilgrims. And mainly the Russians are the ones who travelled there, since it was from Byzantium that the image of Saint Nicholas and the traditions were taken to the Russian cities, where after centuries, they became so embedded there that the saint was then made the national patron. Only in the first half of 2007, according to a survey by the journalist Serpil Yilmaz from the newspaper Hurriyet, two hundred and fifty thousand Russians visited the site.
Now it seems that the Saint, who distinguishes himself from the others by his generosity, justice, and capacity to intervene decisively and fairly, has performed a “miracle”. With great joy and satisfaction on behalf of the entire Orthodox church, the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I, after five years of patience and insisting determination towards the authorities of Ankara has now been granted permission to celebrate the Eucharistic liturgy in the church of the Saint.
The meeting last year in