Permanent Imam is appointed at Hagia Sophia
The position of Imam at Hagia Sophia that was established in 1936 but remained vacant for years has now been filled, as a permanent Imam has been appointed. According to the decision of the Mufti of Fatih district and the Religious Affairs Service where Hagia Sophia belongs, the new permanent Imam will be responsible for all prayers of the day, Eleftheros Typos newspaper reports. “Now out of the four minarets of Hagia Sophia we will be hearing the voice of the Imam five times a day when until now it was only twice a day,” Turkish media reported.
The Great Church of Hagia Sophia, the main Orthodox Temple of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, was turned into a mosque in 1453, after the city was taken over by the Ottoman Empire and was renamed Istanbul. It served as a mosque until 1931. Then it was secularized, and in 1935 it was converted to a museum. Since 2010, several Turkish officials have been calling for the turning of Hagia Sophia into a mosque again. In 2015, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that he believes the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque would be accelerated. So, on July 1st, 2016, the Koran was read for the first time inside Hagia Sophia by a muezzin for the first time in 85 years. On Saturday the permanent muezzin chanted the azan, the Muslim call for prayer.
Even the most open-minded observer can see this as nothing but a disgusting and provocative move. When a vicious and destructive force (the Ottoman Turks) motivated by militant religious fanaticism and imperialism , as well as intense cultural jealousy, overcomes a great empire (Christian Byzantium, once the center of Christendom), that is a catastrophe. When the residue of that force (the supposedly secular Turkish State), acting with malice and against international sentiments, opens again the wounds of its barbaric invasion of Constantinople, one can only bemoan yet another step by Islamic militants against the Christian world. As Christians are being exterminated in the East, we Christians in the West should follow carefully these evil machinations of Islamic fanatics and terrorists and speak out. Peaceful and decent Muslims should also feel deep shame at what is happening and speak out vociferously against it. It is a blight on their religion. It now seems only a matter of time before all the frescos and mosaics that have been restored since Turkey became a secular state, will once again be plastered over, and any semblance of the once Great Church, will be lost.
I am personally hopeful because of the prophesies of Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain (+1994 July 12), who revealed that an invasion of Greece by Turkey will lead to a restoration of a Greater Greece that includes Albania, Macedonia and Byzantium (Istanbul), followed by the mass conversion of Turks from Islam to Orthodox Christianity. After the fall of the Turkish nation, due to the coming of the Russians to the defense of Greece, The Great Church of Hagia Sophia will once again see the celebration of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, and Constantinople will once again be an Orthodox city.
With love in Christ,
Photos: 1) Interior of Hagia Sophia, showing the newly appointed Imam leading Muslim worship. 2) Saint Paisius of the Holy Mountain. 3) The Great Church of Hagia Sophia as it would look if restored as an Orthodox temple. 4) Interior after the first conversion of The Great Church into a Mosque. 5) Some of the revealed mosaics.
Tuesday October 25, 2016 / October 12, 2016
19th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Martyrs Probus, Tarachus, and Andronicus at Tarsus in Cilicia (304).
Venerable Cosmas the Hymnographer, bishop of Maiuma (787).
St. Euphrosyne (Mezenova) the Faster, schema-abbess of Siberia (1918).
New Hieromartyr John (1930).
New Hieromartyr John (Pommer) bishop of Riga (1934).
Venarable Laurence (1937).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas confessor mitropoliten of Alma-Ata (1955).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1940).
Venerables Amphilochius (1452), Macarius, and Tarasius, abbots, and Theodosius, monk, of Glushitsa Monastery (Vologda).
Martyr Domnina of Anazarbus (286).
St. Martin the Merciful, bishop of Tours (397).
Translation from Malta to Gatchina of a part of the Life-Creating Crossof the Lord, together with the Philermia Icon of the Mother of God, and the right hand of Saint John the Baptist (1799).
“Jerusalem” (48), “Yaroslav-Smolensk” (1642), “Rudensk” (1687) and “Kaluga” (1748) Icons of the Mother of God.
St. Mobhi of Glasnevin (544) (Celtic & British).
St. Edwin, king and martyr (633) (Celtic & British).
St. Wilfrid, archbishop of York (709) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Anastasia of Rome (250) (Greek).
St. Theodotus, bishop of Ephesus (Greek).
St. Jason, bishop of Damascus (Greek).
Venerable Symeon the New Theologian (1021) (Greek).
Venerable Theosebius the God-bearer of Arsinoe in Cyprus (Greek).
Martyrs Malfethos and Anthea (Greek).
Hieromartyr Maximilian, bishop of Noricum (284).
8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Christ Is Preached
12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Many Women Minister to Jesus
8 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.