A full bus left from the town of Rhodes for a pleasant afternoon and especially to attend the second from 4 special masses with hymns dedicated the Holy Virgin, every Friday during the Lent in all the Greek Orthodox churches and they are called “Heretismoi”.
The bus started at 13.45 from the town and got to the village of Apollona, for a very tasteful and rich Lenten lunch at the restaurant Paranga, appreciated by everyone. During the trip our member Maritsa Mandikou and the freshly elected new President Marilena Sokianou have given us a very interesting guiding.
After lunch, the bus stopped at the village of Dimylia which was celebrating its patron saints: The Forty Saints, visited the church and saw some relics of the Saints, brought to the church by the Archbishop of Rhodes that very morning. The relics will remain there for good.
At the village of Eleoussa the bus stopped for coffee and then called by the ringing bell of the church of Saint Charalambos everyone went to the church and attended the mass with contrition. After the mass they have asked the priest to tell us a few things on The Forty Saints (you can read the story here below).
After that the bus drove back to Rhodes.
The Forty Saints
In Kaessaria, during the first period of Christianity, Roman soldiers were ordering the men of a village there to offer sacrifices to the 12 gods, but they, as they had been converted to Christianity, did not obey.
The Romans decided to punish them for that so they asked them to take off their clothes and forced them to enter into an icy cold lake. To make it more difficult for the Christians they have lit large fires on the bank of the lake.
The 40 men were freezing and they were trying to encourage one another. Still one of them could not stand the cold any more so he ran out of the lake and close to the fire, but this sudden change of temperature was the reason for him to die from a heart attack.
The resting 39 men remained in the cold water. Just before dawn, the guards who were watching them from the bank saw the sky opening and 40 wreaths came down and each one of them crowned one of the 39 remaining men. The 40the wreath was flying above them in circles. Then one of the Roman soldiers, impressed by the miracle, took off his clothes and joined the others in the lake and the 40th wreath found its place on his head.