The Feast of the Apostle St. John, the Founder and Protector of the Church of Izmir, was celebrated with great participation and a glorious ritual on December 27 at the St. John Catholic Cathedral Basilica of Izmir.
The celebration was presided by the Latin Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto of Izmir where Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Izmir Bartholomew Samaras, other monks and guests attended.
In his sermon, Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto said: “Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint John the Apostle. This Cathedral Church is dedicated to him. He is the Founder and Protector of the Diocese of Izmir. In his first letter to the Christian communities here in the Asia Minor region, Saint John witnesses Jesus Christ. John was under the cross of Jesus. Jesus entrusted his mother Mary to him. John represented the Church, the mystical body of Jesus. Thus, the Mother of Jesus became the Mother of the whole Church. Being full of the Holy Spirit, John recognized the secrets of Jesus’ heart. Filled with the Holy Spirit, He announced who is Jesus Christ and he spread the message of salvation and love to the world.”
Then he finished his sermon with this prayer: “Oh God, you have revealed to us the secret of your eternal Word through the Apostle St. John. We are praying: Let us understand and accept the truth that St. John explained to us in a deep and powerful language, with an enlightened mind and a loving heart.”
Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto expressed his gratitude to all the priests of the Diocese of Izmir for their precious pastoral duties, and as a sign of his gratitude, the seven diocesan priests are given the title of having mission in the cathedral because of their generosity and their duties. Piretto said: “It is only the Lord who can reward all our priests with His grace and power. Let us continue to pray for our priests and those who answered the call to the priesthood.”