Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Photo That Shows the Devout Soul of a Fifth Grade Altar Boy

By Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selino

No, it is not edited, nor is it a set-up photo, much more so it is not a "fake", to use a term that has come into our lives, along with the term "coronavirus".

This is Yiannaki, a cute and very smart kid from the 5th grade who is growing up in a blessed family.

Yiannaki came to church on the evening of Palm Sunday, way before the Bridegroom Service was about to begin. We locked the doors of our Cathedral church, and he came into the sanctuary, where I was preparing to begin the Service.

It is a space familiar to him, like home and beloved. "Yiannaki, these days you will not be helping us in the sanctuary. You must go to your house and be well with your family."

"Christ loves me and if I am here I will be well; I want to be here," he replied, looking at me in the eyes and waiting for me to agree with him and say, "Stay here."

"He loves you," I answered him, "which is why He wants you to stay in your home."

There was silence. He teared up and shortly afterwards he left, looking at me with complaint and surprise.

I was silent. We locked the doors and began the Service.

On the night of Great Thursday, as Yiannaki was sitting in front of the television in his house with his parents, and as soon as the reading of the 12 Gospels began, he spontaneously and without saying anything to his parents got up and went to the corner of his living room, where there was set up a prayer corner, he took a candle, and when each Gospel was read he would light the candle and stand next to the Priest reading the Gospel!