NNA – Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, accompanied by a group of bishops, priests, Antonine Sisters, Maronite League delegation, Maronite Gathering for Lebanon and the Qannoubine League for Mission and Heritage, visited on Sunday the “Aya Marina Church” in Polymedia in the suburbs of Limassol, as part of his pastoral visit to the island of Cyprus.
In a welcoming word to the Patriarch and his accompanying delegation, Parish Priest Father Andre Cachaluz, said: “Today, after 1200 years of our presence on the island, we still preserve our heritage despite the difficulties, as all the sons of this parish are from the village of Aya Marina and want nothing but to return….and we hope that Your Eminence will work for that…”
Patriarch al-Rahi, in turn, conveyed his heartfelt greetings to the Church parish members for maintaining their love for Saint Marina. “We are happy to accompany the new Archbishop of the Diocese, Salim Sfeir, and this visit is an occasion to congratulate you all on the first fruits of his election, which is the apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Cyprus…We have come here to represent all of our holy synod of bishops, and I convey to you their prayers that you may return to your beloved town of Aya Marina.”
“When we saw the Church of St. Marina in the village of Aya Marina in its new image, we were reassured, with all hope, that through God’s mercy and love you are bound to return to your homes, as this holy place has been revived….Be confident that the Lord does not accept to have an oppressed people, a displaced people, or a victimized people, because God wants good for all people, and God achieves what He wants in cooperation with humans, and we are working together with the local authorities to restore the unity of Cyprus, and therefore we are working at the historical level and God’s will shall be realized at its time.”
Later, the Patriarch visited Saint Charbel Church in Limassol, where he led a Mass service in presence of official and popular figures.
Al-Rahi also inaugurated the Christmas exhibition at Saint Charbel Church - Limassol in Cyprus, with the participation of his accompanying delegation and believers.
Following the opening, al-Rahi toured the exhibition sections, praising the efforts of its organizers and everyone who contributed to its success, wishing that "the birth of Jesus Christ brings peace and security to the Cypriot and Lebanese peoples."
In this connection, the Parish Priest, Father Ibrahim Khita, confirmed to “Tele Lumiere-Norsat” that "this Christmas exhibition is an annual event, the proceeds of which go to support the activities of the Church." The exhibition includes Christmas decorations, gifts, traditional foods, icons and prayer beads.