May 7, 2012
With solemnity and awaiting the coming of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Kastoria, there was celebrated for the first time the memory of Saint Sophia of the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kleisouras where she lived in asceticism, on May 6th, the day of the repose of the Saint.
It is worth mentioning that the official celebration of Saint Sophia will take place on June 30 and July 1 of 2012, the dates when the Ecumenical Patriarch will visit the Metropolis of Kastoria, to initiate the official celebration of the canonization and will dedicate the temple housing the tomb of the Saint, to which the faithful resort every day, and will light for the first time the oil lamps which will burn unquenchable before the grave and in the area of the asceticism of the Saint.
The day before the feast a Great Hierarchical Vespers was celebrated at the Monastery of Panagia Kleisouriotissa, officiated by Bishop Bartholomew of Arianzou and Bishop Seraphim.
In his speech Mr. Bartholomew thanked the Metropolitan of Kastoria for the opportunity to live something very moving, as it was the first celebration as a Saint of the Eldress of Kleisoura.
Immediately after the clergy and people went to the hermitage of Saint Sophia, where she spent her life, and sang praises to the Blessed Sophia.
It is worth mentioning that the Services of Vespers and Matins and the Supplication and Lamentations to the Saint were written by the Great Hymnographer of the Alexandrian Church, the charismatic Dr. Harry Boussias.
On the day of the feast the Bishop of Kastoria thanked the bishops the clergy and the people who arrived in Kastoria in celebration of the Saint, saying that we are the ones that will not only be written in history because we were the first to celebrate, but Saint Sophia will write us in her own book, fulfilling the requests we asked for by resorting to her intercessions.
Finally, after the Divine Liturgy was celebrated, a procession of the sacred icon and the holy relics of Saint Sophia, took place around the premises of the monastery.