LIMASSOL/LARNACA – This first weekend of May, His Beatitude Mgr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, went to Cyprus to administer sacraments of confirmation in Limassol, and to celebrate the anniversary of the Latin church of Larnaca.
“Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your gifts and fruits!”
On Saturday, May 7th, it was with overwhelming joy and gratitude that fifteen youth were confirmed by the Patriarch in the St Catherine church of Limassol, administered by the Franciscans. After more than one year of preparation, during which they prayed, shared times of discussion together and studied intensively, the young Cypriots finally received the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit just like the Apostles before them during the time of the Pentecost. The co-celebrants included Fr. Jerzy Kraj, OFM, Patriarchal Vicar for Cyprus, and Fr. Andrew Verdote, parish priest of Limassol.
The next day, the community of Larnaca celebrated the 180th anniversary of the church of Our Lady of Graces, which was built in 1842 by a Franciscan architect named Fr. Serafino da Roccascalegna. The first foundation stone was laid by the Consul of France, and the works lasted six years. Because of its Renaissance and Baroque elements, its striking architecture, and its beautiful paintings (18th and 19th centuries), which were offered by various kings and leaders during the 19th century, it was back then considered to be one of the greatest churches of the East. Since then, even if, despite renovations in 1990, it has suffered from humidity, time and poor weather conditions, it is still the home and heart of a wonderful and active community of mixed ethnicity, working hard to keep the parish alive and growing.
The celebration of the anniversary, which was presided by Patriarch Pizzaballa, was also attended by the mayor of Larnaca, members of the Orthodox community of Cyprus, representatives of the French consulate as well as eminent members of the parish.
To watch the video of the anniversary: