At 5.00 pm of Tuesday the 12th/25th of March 2014, a school feast took place on the hill of St Sion School to commemorate the 25th of March 1821.

Attending the festivities was His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, accompanied by the Patriarchal Commissioner, the Most Reverend Isychios, Metropolitan of Kapitolias; the President of the School Board and Elder Sacristan, His Eminence Isidoros, Archbishop of Hierapolis; the Elder Secretary-General, His Eminence Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina, and other Hagiotaphite Fathers.

Also attending the festivities was the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem with his honourable wife and associates of his; Greeks from the Jerusalemite parish, Arab-speaking members of the Greek Orthodox Community of Jerusalem; nuns and pilgrims staying at the Holy Monastery of St Gerasimus of Jordan.

The festive event included a speech by the Acting Principal, philologist and theologian, monk f. Nikolas Zervis, due to illness of Principal Photios. The panegyric of the day was delivered by philologist Mr Theodoros Zygouris. Patriotic songs were performed under the direction of philologist Mr Panayiotis Antoniades, poems recited under the guidance of philologist Mrs Eleni Oikonomou, and two short plays performed under the direction of philologist Mr Constantinos Komodikis.

Both the speeches and the audiovisual material prepared by professor Spyridon Mexis, the recitations, songs, and plays performed by the students – albeit few in number – spoke of the trials, suffering, extermination and finally the rising of our nation after four centuries of cruel and merciless Turkish slavery. The also praised the brave struggles of our Fathers, clerics and laymen alike – Kolokotronis, Karaiskakis, Nikitaras, Markos Botsaris, Makrygiannis, Papaflessas, Athanasios Diakos – as well as thousands of innocent victims piling up from the proclamation of the Revolution by Germanos, Bishop of Old Patras on the 25th of March, until the liberation of our nation and the recognition of an independent state in 1832.

Feelings of pride for the ancestors overwhelmed those attending the festivities, as well as thoughts and speculations on the responsibility of the rulers of our nation and of any Greek citizen to emulate the ethos and way of life of our fathers instead of the numerous dubious and obscure models of contemporary life which have led our country and humanity in general to financial crisis.

Both His Beatitude and the Consul-General congratulated teachers and students on the success of the feast and urged them to devote themselves to the values of our nation and the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.

From the Secretariat-General