On Thursday, January 21, 2022, the memory of Saint Maximos the Greek (Vatopaidinos) was commemorated at his homonymous church in Seoul.
This church is the first church that was built after the canonization of St. Maximos under the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1988. The foundation stone of the church was laid by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on April 9, 1995, during His first Official Visit to Korea. The church was then built by His Eminence Metropolitan Pisidia Soterios and inaugurated by the late Metropolitan of New Zealand Dionysios, on September 21, 1996, to meet the ecclesiastical needs of the first immigrants after the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union.
His Eminence Soterios also took care of the transfer to Korea of a piece of the Holy Relic of St. Maximos the Greek in 1997, which was received by his clergyman representative from the abbot of the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi Ephraim, during the ceremony of transfer of St. Maximos’ Relics to His birthplace, the city of Arta Greece, in October 12th, 1997.
In his sermon, the Metropolitan of Korea Ambrosios described the sufferings and afflictions that Saint Maximos suffered from people who hated him because they could not stand the control of their illegal actions. He was sentenced to 23 years of inhumane imprisonment, refusing to allow him to return to his Monastery, the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi, which he so longed for. The patience of Saint Maximos in his many and horrible trials, the Metropolitan stressed, teaches us the need to strive for a humble mind, so that we acknowledge our mistakes in repentance and do not see as our enemies those who love us and care for our spiritual progress.
After the Divine Liturgy a more extensive analysis and discussion of St. Maxim’s life took place in the Book Café Philokalia regarding this serious spiritual issue.