A magnificent Ecumenical Eucharist liturgy was held on May 7, 2022 in Selcuk St. John’s Basilica, which is believed to be the tomb of St. John.
The ceremony, led by the Latin Catholic Archbishop of Izmir, Monsignor Martin Kmetec, was accompanied by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Izmir, Monsignor Bartholomew Samaras, and the Priest of the Anglican Church of Izmir, Father James Buxton. Priests from different Izmir Catholic churches and the House of Virgin Mary, Archimandrite Father Polykarpos, Father Andreas from Izmir Greek Orthodox Church, and Anglican English Father David from Brussels attended the ceremony.
The celebration began with the Mass procession from the baptistery section of the basilica to the front of the tomb. Then Msgr. Martin blessed the icon of St. John and then all the participants.
In his opening and welcome speech, Monsignor Kmetec said by starting the service: “The Apostle John teaches us that we are not only his disciples, but that we must be shepherds of his people. God bless you in your missionary effort.”
Franciscan Priest Father Adrian from the Church of the Holy Name of Mary in Bornova read the Words from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, written by St. John.
Monsignor Bartholomew and Father James have also added their own prayers to the Universal Prayers section. Serkan Şahin, who plays the organ, and Mesut Kalaycı, the attendant of the Cathedral, enlivened this magnificent Rite.
Thus, this year, Christians from different denominations in Izmir came together to commemorate the resurrected Lord and commemorated the Apostle St. John in his grave.
Saint John is celebrated by the Orthodox on May 8. Before the pandemic period, the Greek Patriarch of Istanbul, Bartholomew, had come to Selcuk and led the ceremony held in memory of St. John.
(SAT-7 TURK/İZMİR-Nathalie Ritzmann)