The celebration of St. Parthenius, the Wonderworker of Lampsacus, is a great festivity for the Bigorski monastery. Almost 30 years ago, this glorious lighthouse of the Church, the Bishop of Christ Parthenius blessed, through the mouth of the most respected Metropolitan Timothy, our beloved Elder, dignifying him with the honour to carry his holy name. Therefore, his annual memory is a good opportunity for us all to express our huge gratitude and pour deep prayers of our hearts, asking the saint to keep sending his spiritual strength and inspiration to our Elder, thus enabling him to continue leading us along the graceful path to the Heavenly Kingdom with his paternal love.
The bright celebration begun with the Vespers, in which thousands of spiritual children of Fr. Parthenius, faithful and guests from all over our country took part with their prayers. In this touching atmosphere of love and gratitude which prevailed in the church of St. John the Forerunner, everyone conveyed their own best wishes and prayers to God, as a most wonderful gift for their spiritual father. One of those humble gifts of gratitude, which provoked tears of joy in our beloved Elder was the portrait of his blessedly reposed and always remembered Elder, George Kapsanis, the previous Abbot of the Gregoriou Monastery on Mount Athos. This portrait which on behalf of the entire monastic family, was given to our father by the eldest hieromonk, Fr. Dositheus, was painted by one of the most famous iconographer of our time, the artist and worldly famous icon restorer, Mr. Constantine Xenopulos from Greece, for which we are immensely grateful, remembering him and his noble family in our humble prayers.
One cannot describe the joy of Fr. Parthenius when he saw before him this painted loving image. As when a child would see his parent after such a long time and embracing him firmly, would cry out of joy. At that moment as if the entire church was filled with grace, because an immense blessing came abundantly from heaven, from the very place where the blessed Elder George Kapsanis rejoices in eternity. In such emotional state, our Elder Parthenius with an inspiring and trembling voice expressed before all the present in the church his great filial love towards his father and teacher of monastic life, turning it into a wonderful and profound sermon.
The inexplicable joy then transferred to the monastery gallery, where the present had the opportunity to hear the beautifully written gratitudes expressed by our Elder’s numerous spiritual children from Skopje, as well as by the staff of the “House of the Miyaks” ethno restaurant. What caused a lot of emotions was the touching verse dedicated to Fr. Parthenius, which was so meekly and sincerely recited by the little girl Fotina Naumoska from Bitola, and which brought tears of joy on the faces of all the guests.