The Feast of Ascension of the Virgin Mary to the Heavens was Celebrated in Izmir
As every year, the Ascension of the Virgin Mary was celebrated at the House of Virgin Mary on the Selçuk Bülbül Mountain of Ephesus district of İzmir on August 15th.
The ritual held in Turkish and English, where there was no crowd due to the epidemic, was directed by Izmir Roman Catholic Archbishop Lorenzo Piretto, subordinate deacon Agop Minasyan representing the Turkish Armenian Catholic Church, an authorized priest from Ankara St. Nicholas Anglican Church Father Patrick Irwin, the high priest Father Gabriel Feron from Izmir Göztepe Notre-Dame de Lourdes Church and Deacon Nikola from the Izmir Dioses were present.
Groups from different churches and priests in Izmir and groups from Istanbul Bakırköy and Yeşilköy Ancient Assyrian communities attended the festival. Noel Micaleff, the President of the House of Virgin Mary Association, was present at the celebration.
The choir consisting of the volunteers of the İzmir community and Father Giuseppe, the priest of the Alsancak Notre-Dame du Rosaire Dominican Church, enlivened the ritual by playing the organ.
The rosary of the day was read before the ritual began.
The Words of Christ Jesus, written by St. Luke, were first read in Turkish and then in English by Deacon Nikola. Afterwards, Arkdeacon Agop Minasyan read the verses in the Bible in Armenian.
Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto in his sermon said: “The Assumption of Mary is a holiday celebrating her passing with her body and soul to the glory of God and her resurrected Son Jesus. The good news is that Mary went there before us. We have all been called to join the joy of Paradise, in which Mary is included. Whatever God accomplished in Mary is also intended for us. “Our present life is our journey after Christ Jesus, accompanied by Mary, towards this great heavenly feast that God has prepared us to attend.”
After the end of the service, everyone attending was invited to the courtesies provided by the association in the garden of the House of Virgin Mary. In the afternoon, the Assumption of Mary was concluded with a glorious rosary prayer.