On the Saturday following the patronal feast day of the Monaco Parish, dedicated to St Elena (21 May/3 June), His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe travelled to Monte-Carlo to make an Archpastoral visit to the parish, continuing the celebration of the patron saint’s memory and the ongoing joy of Pentecost.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning, headed by the Ruling Bishop of the Diocese together with local and visiting clergy: Priest Dionysius Baikov (of the San Remo Parish), Priest Evgeny Nikitin (of the Menton Parish), Priest Igor Vujisić (of the Serbian Parish in Nice), and Deacon Oleg Petrov (Menton Parish). At the Bishop’s instruction, hymns to St Elena were added to those of the day, bringing the joy of the recent commemoration into the present Liturgy.
At the conclusion of the Divine Services, at which many of the Monaco faithful partook of the Holy Mysteries, Vladyka Irenei said a few words on the significance of St Elena as an example of faith and and inspiration for the spiritual life of the faithful in the region. After coming forward to venerate the Cross, the faithful then joined the clergy for a reception in a nearby restaurant, where Bishop Irenei again greeted the parishioners with the great joy of the day.
During his time in the Principality, Bishop Irenei also met with parish organisers to discuss preparations for this year’s Christmas Gala in the city: the fifth anniversary of what has already become a regular event in the life of the Principality. Vladyka also met with local officials and representatives of other Monaco Churches.
Editor’s note: The Parish of St Elena in Monaco is not affiliated with the Moscow patriarchy